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Panther Pause: Preventing the summer slide

Lindsay Jacobs

Can you believe we only have a little over two weeks before school is out for summer?! It has been a fantastic year at the elementary school. Lots of learning took place and friendships formed and I am sure there will be tears shed as we say "see ya later" on June 1.

Just because school is out for summer doesn't mean learning has to or should stop. Many times in the summer students go through a summer slide. It's not the slide that you go down at the park or into a pool. The summer slide is the slide of academic levels. Research tells us that on average, students' achievement scores decline over the summer by one month's worth of school-year learning. Students and teachers have worked so hard all year to grow in their learning that we don't want that to slide away. Here is what you can do over the summer to prevent the "summer slide":

Six books to summer success

Research shows that reading just six books a week during the summer months may keep a reader from regressing. When choosing the books, be sure they are good-fit books - not too hard, not too easy. Take advantage of our library summer reading programs. (It sounds like it is going to ROCK!)

Read SOMETHING EVERY DAY

Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read (newspapers, magazines, signs, books).

Keep reading aloud

Reading aloud benefits all children and teens. One benefit is that you can read books your child may not be able to, so they will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase their knowledge and expand their experience with text, in turn they will do better when they read on their own.

These simple suggestions will hopefully be easily fit into an already busy summer schedule and make it easier to avoid the summer slide and prepare your student to learn again come next academic year.

Thank you again for a great year and we hope you have a fun summer.

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