Summer reading programs kicking off in Michigan

Library programs are free, and adapted to fit all ages
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - Summer vacation is a chance for kids to enjoy time off school, but some educators say it shouldn’t be a time off from learning.

That’s why summer reading programs are kicking off.

Related: Capital Area District Library’s 25th Summer Reading Challenge to begin June 1

During summer break, books can take you to far-off places without ever leaving home. They can also win you grand prizes like an American Girl Doll, or monthly prizes ice cream.

“Especially for students, summer reading is really important, to incentivize them to keep reading so they avoid the summer slide,” said David Votta, director of the Charlotte Community Library.

Three months away from school can set students back on learning. That’s why many libraries step in, to keep reading cool over the summer.

“It’s important for their academic success, but also for other mental tasks they have to do. It keeps them flexible, increases their creativity, and to improve their academic success in the coming year.” said Votta.

According to the American Educational Research Journal, on average over the summer, students can lose between 17% & 34% of last year’s learning.

“I have talked to many of our school librarians and our school teachers, and they have said it’s a very real thing for them,” said Karon Walter, with the Capital Area District Library.

Walter works at Holt’s library and says teachers report having to re-teach what kids have already learned every fall.

“The participants we have who do the whole program, their adults usually come back and just let us know that they’re doing really good for their next year,” said Walter.

Motivating kids to spend time reading and listening to books this summer, with the chance to win fun prizes.

Summer reading programs are free, and are adapted to fit all ages: newborns to 100. All library card holders can participate, even if you’re out of town. If you’d like to get in on the prizes and fun, just reach out to your local library.

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