Summer program keeps reading in focus

Published 9:40 pm Friday, May 20, 2016

Selma City Schools students are being encouraged to continue reading over the summer break.

Students received summer learning packets including books and journals during the last week of school through a new reading initiative called Bridging Summer Fun and Learning.

The program is meant to assist students from kindergarten up to the eighth grade in reading and comprehension skills.

Superintendent Angela Mangum said too often children go home for summer and neglect reading and learning.

“When children don’t read and continue to learn, they lose a lot of those skills like vocabulary, blends, diphthongs and meaning of words. So, summer reading practices are crucial,” Mangum said.

The idea of the program came to Mangum from a presenter of a conference she attended a while back that shared tactics on comprehensive learning support for students.

“She talked about the summer reading slide and how the reading and math skills of children decline on average up to 2.6 months over the summer,” Mangum said. “It can have a very devastating effect. So, we decided to help prevent this.”

She said she thinks the program will help teachers and students with an easier transition when the new school year starts and everyone is trying to get back in the swing of things after the summer break.

“Hopefully, teachers won’t have to spend as much time with the review of previously taught skills and will be able to drive forward with new skills in their grade levels,” Mangum said.

She said the program guides are valuable help for parents who take the time to read with their children this summer.

She said she has realized when skills are not practiced they can become obsolete.

“I hope they continue to focus on reading and help remain knowledgeable in skills they already have and strengthen them as well,” Mangum said. “When you don’t use your skills, they get rusty and sometimes lose them. Providing this summer learning opportunity helps keep them sharpened.”