Reading options aplenty this summer across Truckee/Tahoe | SierraSun.com
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Reading options aplenty this summer across Truckee/Tahoe

Katja DahlSpecial to the Sun
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE andamp;#8212; The relaxed, fun-filled days of summer are a well-deserved break for children; however, they can have an unfortunate consequence andamp;#8212; learning loss. Luckily, this loss is preventable and there are an increasing number of education groups, schools and libraries banding together to provide ongoing opportunities for reading and educational growth during the summer.It is commonly referred to as the andamp;#8220;summer slideandamp;#8221; or andamp;#8220;summer slumpandamp;#8221; and is considered to have a significant impact on a student’s academic success, including high school graduation rates and ultimately work force preparedness.Our Tahoe Truckee schools and community groups understand this dilemma and have committed to work together to create summer programs that are both fun and effective. The Tahoe Truckee Reads Campaign is a local partnership among Excellence In Education Foundation, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, First 5 Nevada County and the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (including school sites and PTOs). The Campaign focuses on improving outcomes for early literacy.Some of the programs offered this summer include summer reading programs and toddler story time at the Truckee Public Library and an incentive program for reading for children teens and adults as well as poetry readings through the Tahoe City and Kings Beach Public Libraries. Both Glenshire Elementary and Tahoe Lake Elementary School Libraries are offering open library times every Thursday morning and Tahoe Lake Elementary is also providing one-to-one reading opportunities and story hour during the weekly Tahoe City Farmers Market.The Bookshelf in Truckee’s Gateway shopping center is offering free Story Time on Fridays from 2-2:30pm. Book Drives are scheduled for North Tahoe and Truckee Elementary Schools and Donner Trail Elementary is having a school-wide contest and creating a chain to represent the number of books read by the students.There are also several Neighborhood Reading Programs planned to bring services to local communities to increase reading participation. Truckee Elementary, Sierra Expeditionary Learning School and Glenshire Elementary will offer reading time and books for children in neighborhoods such as Donner Creek Mobile Home Park, Sierra Village Apartment Truckee Pines, Henness Flats and Riverview Apartments. Additionally, reading times will be held at Assumption Church after Mass on Saturdays from July 7 through August 18, 2012.While many schools are setting individual summer reading goals with incentives for students and assigning books by grade level, parents are the key to making sure these goals are met.andamp;#8220;Our teachers and students work diligently all school year to improve their reading skills and absorb a great variety of information,andamp;#8221; explains Valerie Simpson, Truckee Elementary Principal. andamp;#8220;It seems counterproductive to simply allow all that learning and retention to fade away just because kids are out of school for summer. We need the support of parents to help make sure these summer programs work.andamp;#8221;Decades worth of research confirms that children loose an average of one month of reading progress during the summer, making the summer slide one of the biggest, yet unrecognized, causes of why children fall behind in school.Considering this loss is cumulative, summer after summer, it is troubling to realize that taking a short break from reading can have such an impact on a young person’s overall achievement in school. Ultimately, the summer slide can affect a student’s reading foundation, making learning more difficult in almost every subject.While most parents will tell you they never realized that not reading over the summer could have such a powerful effect, teachers and education groups have been concerned for years. Luckily, this means that there are plenty of resources available to moms and dads that need ideas.A simple Google search for andamp;#8216;summer reading ideas’ produced a wealth of information and a few fun ideas. Why not have a summer reading party where kids all bring their favorite book and read to each other before being rewarded with a special treat?Or, each month over the summer pick a different book theme (stories that feature the ocean, books about the solar system, stories about sports heroes, books about animals, etc).Many resources encourage reading lots of different kinds of things such as magazines, newspapers, comic books and even cook books. Others encourage mixing media, for example listening to books on CD, reading a book and then watching the movie together, and reading books online or on e-readers.The Tahoe Truckee Reads campaign is promoting ten summer reading tips to get families started; run to the library, read all over the place, read everything, talk about it/share your thoughts, create a book nook, cozy up and read together, keep a list and mark books off, turn off the TV and read, collect books, and celebrate reading success. The experts all agree, summer learning loss is real and it is concerning, however, it is also avoidable and a wonderful opportunity to add something interesting, different and creative to your family’s summer activities. The Excellence in Education Foundation would love to hear your creative ideas for encouraging summer reading so that they can be shared with others. Please email your ideas to exed@ttcf.net. For more information on Tahoe Truckee Reads visit: http://www.exined.org.andamp;#8212; Katja Dahl is a board member with the Excellence in Education Foundation.


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