The summer months away from school can be a critical time in a child’s reading development. Even before the coronavirus shut down schools, educators have been warning parents about the effects of “summer slide.” The time when students lose some of what they learned the previous school year, because they don’t continue to use those skills during the summer.
Nonprofit Reading Partners North Texas works tirelessly throughout the school year and the summer to help students and parents in the reading department.
Lisa Bracken, executive director of Reading Partners North Texas is on the front line of that effort.
“The goal and mission of Reading Partners is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results,” Bracken said. "In our North Texas schools only 14-percent of our low-income Kindergarten through 3rd-grade students are proficient readers according to our nation’s report card and it’s critical that we get those kids reading by 3rd grade."
That effort to get students reading on their grade level is about much more than just the immediate need.
"We also know that students reading below grade level in third grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school before earning their diploma so it’s really critical," Bracken said.
This summer, Reading Partners is offering even more help for students. This time, through online tutorials that help parents identify areas their child needs more help in.
“We have this great group of AmeriCorp teammates that are with us. We have created 15, skill-based videos with tips to help parents as well as teachers of early elementary students,” Bracken said.
The short tutorials incorporate games and learning to keep it engaging.
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Bracken also reminded parents, practice is the key. Continuing to practice reading, even when young minds aren’t always willing, is the best way to keep their minds sharp during the summer. Reading Partners North Texas has helped NBC 5 compile a diverse, summer reading list for kids Kindergarten through 5th grade.