AYER — Many educators say it is imperative that children read during the summer. Scholasticbooks.com has written about “summer learning loss.”
This “loss” occurs when children don’t exercise their brains. Scholastic reports that “young readers who don’t continue to read over the summer — especially those who are reluctant or at-risk — are likely to lose crucial ground. One summer off can sometimes mean a whole school year of struggling academic performance.”
Dr. Ruth Peters, a contributor on “The Today Show,” said that “teachers typically spend 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching materials students have forgotten over the summer.”
Peters also talked about ways parents can decrease the amount of “summer learning loss.” One suggestion is to get reacquainted with the local library.
“It’s a wonderful place to promote the love of reading, and the librarian can suggest grade-level as well as pure recreational books that will keep your kid’s neurons clicking,” said Peters.
The Page Hilltop PTA is giving children a head start with their summer reading by providing each child with a book to read over the hotter months. PTA Treasurer Tracy Stiles said that the organization has been providing summer books for children in Ayer for more than 5 years.
“It is an essential, lifelong skill that should be nurtured and encouraged from as young an age as possible,” said Stiles. “We want every child to leave school with one brand new book to call their own. Our hope is that they will feel excited about this book and want to read it, and hopefully many others, through the summer while they are on vacation.”
Throughout the year, the PTA holds fundraisers that have made it possible to provide one piece of literature per child at Page Hilltop.
Incoming kindergartners will receive Jonathan London’s “Froggy Goes to School,” first-graders will go home with Natasha Wing’s “The Night Before First Grade,” second-graders will have Elizabeth Carney’s “Frogs,” third-graders will read Mike Thaler’s “The Summer Vacation from the Black Lagoon,” fourth-graders will get E.B. White’s “Stuart Little,” and the new fifth-graders will get Kate DiCamillo’s “The Tiger Rising.”
“As a group of parents and teachers working together, we share the same belief regarding the importance of literacy. We hope that providing a new book to each child at Page Hilltop helps grow a love for reading,” said Stiles.