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Summer Reading with the Memphis Public Library and Information Center

July 1, 2010

Kids can avoid “summer slide” and retain more of what they have learned during the school year by reading.

By Stephanie Jones, Assistant Director for Library Communication
Though students may have taken a break from school, they should not take a break from reading. Summer Reading is the Library’s annual program, funded entirely by area sponsors, that encourages kids to pick up books and read.  The fact is, as much as we all look forward to summer vacation, there are some drawbacks when children are away from the classroom for almost two months. Not surprisingly, there’s a strong tendency for children to lose some of what they learned during the school year, a problem dubbed the “summer slide” with math and spelling skills seeming to suffer the most. It is believed that the equivalent of one month of instruction is lost over the summer. So, certainly reading levels also drop – unless students continue to read while out of school.  Studies show students who read more, read better.

The idea of reading for pleasure is most often associated with adults.  However, children can have just as much fun, and the Memphis Public Library supports the education of our children.

Kids and teens are encouraged to read and sign up for the Summer Reading Club at their local library.  Weekly incentives are awarded and once they listen to or read 10 books, they receive a book prize and an entry for the grand prize drawing.  Additionally, there are fun activities planned at most of the 19 branches, keeping the readers busy and their minds sharp. And, Summer Reading is not just for children; it is for adults, too. Sign up is easy and there are plenty of ways to qualify for prizes and incentives: read a book, newspaper, or magazine; listen to a book on tape—even reading to a child. Adults are entered in drawings for passes to some of the coolest City sites like the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the National Civil Rights Museum.  The prizes are a great reason to join Summer Reading. But, there’s an even more important reason for your participation:  What better example to set for a child than to model reading for them?

Summer Reading ends July 24. Additional information regarding the Summer Reading Program can be gained by calling 415-2739.

So, when you plan the rest of your summer, think L.I.B.R.A.R.Y – learning is better retained avidly reading year-round!

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