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Keep ’em Reading This Summer at The Howe Library

Jul 24, 2017 03:07PM ● By Linda Ditch
In a recent interview for the School Library Journal, Richard L. Allington, coauthor of Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap, said, “What we know is that any child who fails to read during the summer break will lose some reading proficiency. We also know that children from low-income families routinely lose two to three months of reading proficiency every summer, while middle-class children gain about a month. This creates a three-to-four-month gap every summer. From grade one to nine, children from low-income families lose two or more years of reading proficiency during the summers when school is not in session.”

What can you do to keep your kids reading this summer? A great place to start is at The Howe Library. Denise Reitsma, head of the library’s youth services department, answered a few questions about summer reading.

Q: Why is it important to keep kids interested in reading during the summer?

A: Summer is a good time for kids to read whatever they want—magazines, comics, books they’ve already read, books that are “easy” for them. It doesn’t matter as long as they read. 

Q: How can the Howe Library help?

A:  It’s a good time for kids to explore the library and check out whatever grabs them, maybe something different from what they usually read. I wouldn’t recommend using summer reading as a vehicle for advancement. It should be fun.

Q: What are some of the hot books being checked out by young people this summer?

A: Every summer all the old favorites disappear from the shelves—the Harry Potters, the Percy Jacksons, and the graphic novel and comic sections are well used. The kids know what they want to read! 

Q: What do you like most about working with young readers?

A: It is so satisfying to talk about books with kids and, once I get to know them, to recommend a book I know they will like. My favorite thing is to see kids walking out of the library with their nose in a book, oblivious to everything going on around them.

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