A 2% Effort is not Sufficient for a 100% Life
Why children should participate in summer reading programs at the library
|By David Shankbone|
or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)],
In public schools throughout the country, a student is taught to read in Grades K-3. Beginning in Grade 4, there is a fundamental switch. A student is no longer learning to read, but instead is reading to learn.
A school year in my state of New Jersey consists of 180 days. Kindergarten through Grade 3 is 4 years of schooling, or 720 days (assuming 100% attendance). The approximate average life span is 78 years or 28,470 days. Roughly stated, those 720 days amount to only 2% of a child's lifetime. Think about that. Only two percent of a lifetime is allotted to impart the fundamental reading skills which positively or negatively impact the remaining 98% of a life!
A student who cannot read or read well upon entering Grade 4 will be at a distinct disadvantage, possibly for the rest of her life. (see related articles below)
Public libraries around the country stand ready and able to help children attain reading success. In New Jersey, as in many states, librarians are licensed professionals with a Master of Library (or Information) Science degree. We are trained to assess the needs of those in our community and provide opportunities for early and lifetime learning. During the year we typically offer story time programs which promote early literacy skills, as well as book clubs, computer classes, and a host of other educational fare. In the summer, youth services librarians turn our attention to preventing the "summer slide," the loss of reading skills that occurs during the summer break from school. We do everything short of standing on our heads to encourage kids to read, and have fun doing it!
Summer reading clubs at the public library are fun, they're free, and they pay lifetime benefits.