Summer vacation is a welcome break from the daily school routine for children and parents alike, but the summer months can be detrimental to students’ learning if young minds are not kept active. Summer learning loss is a well-documented phenomenon, particularly with respect to reading achievement. Students can lose up to three months of reading progress during the summer if they don’t keep reading. When combined across a child’s PK-8 school career, this can result in 1-2 years of lost reading progress.
Fortunately, the summer slide can be prevented or greatly reduced when students continue to read on a regular basis. By encouraging children to read from a variety of resources for fun and to explore topics of interest, they continue to practice applying the skills they have learned, build their vocabulary and widen their knowledge of the world. For students who are not yet reading independently or just beginning to read, reading to and with parents is equally beneficial.
Again this year, the Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge for students in grades PK-8. The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge. During the first two years of this initiative, thousands of Maine children completed the challenge of reading 500 minutes during the summer vacation. Maine DOE hopes to see this number grow even higher during the summer of 2018.
Any school with students in the PK-8 grade span may register to participate. Participating schools will collect documentation from students who have completed the challenge. They will hold school level drawings to select two students (one boy and one girl) whose names will be entered into the state level drawing to be held on September 21, 2018. Schools are encouraged to participate in this challenge, to coordinate it with any other summer reading challenges/programs they offer, and to consider soliciting their own local level prizes for students who complete the challenge. Details about the Read to Ride Challenge and information to register your school can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/summer-literacy.html.
Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Early Learning Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.