A unique world of remote learning and creative teaching has been the norm in recent weeks, but summer vacation is right around the corner. Summer vacation will be a welcome change of pace for families and teachers, yet the importance of summer reading will be as critical as ever. Educators and families have worked tirelessly to engage and challenge students. Making reading a part of the student experience this summer will be invaluable to a successful return to classrooms in the fall.
Once 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 four years of this initiative, thousands of Maine children completed the challenge of reading 500 minutes during summer vacation. Maine DOE hopes to see this number grow even higher during the summer of 2020.
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 whose names will be entered into the state level drawing to be held on September 25, 2020. 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. Find details and the link to register your school at the Read to Ride Challenge website.
Summer slide can be prevented or greatly reduced when students continue to read on a regular basis. By encouraging children to read for enjoyment from a variety of resources 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.
Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Elementary Literacy Specialist, Danielle Saucier at firstname.lastname@example.org.