Summer reading can set stage for school success, and Sno-Isle Libraries ready to help

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As youngsters get set to slide into summer, Sno-Isle Libraries is ready to help stop their academic slide in June, July and August.

“There are plenty of studies that show ‘summer slide’ is real,” said Joy Feldman, early learning coordinator at Sno-Isle Libraries. “Students begin to lose skills learned during the school year if they don’t keep using them and it all starts with reading.”

To help, Sno-Isle Libraries has lined up a summer’s worth of activities aimed at children, teens and families.

“Explore Summer activities are all about ‘Read, Learn, Discover,’” Feldman said, noting that there are activities for children as well as teens. “We focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills, and include arts, through fun and educational events and projects.”

A core feature of Explore Summer is a reading log and free books as prizes.

“It’s very simple,” Feldman said. “Just register, get a reading log and track 10 hours of reading, show the completed log to a library staff member, choose a free book.”

Registration opens June 1 at sno-isle.org/summerkids and sno-isle.org/summerteens and at any community library. Explore Summer runs through Aug. 31. The prizes are provided by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and local friends-of-the-library groups.

Feldman says there is a method to setting the 10-hour goal.

“Research shows that reading a minimum of four to six books during the summer can combat the summer slide,” Feldman said. “Students who participate in summer reading programs maintain scores on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year.”

Sno-Isle Libraries is again partnering on the reading-log program with the Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County at certain sites in Snohomish and Island counties. In 2017, four clubs participated with 144 registrants. More than 52 percent of those who signed up achieved the 10-hour goal.

“It was exciting to see positive results in that first year,” Feldman said. “We’re taking the lessons learned and hope to expand the effort and increase the impact on youth in our communities.”

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