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News Release - Summer Reading Programs Aim to Prevent Summer Loss of Literacy Skills

Feb. 28, 2012

News Release

Kids can find adventure through summer reading programs

Programs aim to prevent “summer loss” of literacy skills

Colorado’s summer reading programs were unveiled today by the Colorado Department of Education and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia at Mesa County Central Library as part of Colorado’s Literacy Week activities.

This summer, the department will offer two summer reading programs to readers of all ages.

“The theme of the State Library’s Summer Reading Program is ‘Dream Big’ and we want to encourage all of Colorado’s families to do just that,” said Lt. Gov. Garcia. “We’re challenging everyone to collectively read an additional 1.25 million pages in 2012 through their local library’s summer reading program. This challenge is to commemorate Mile High United Way’s 125th anniversary and to further promote a love for reading in homes across the state.

This challenge translates into an increase from last summer’s 1.5 million pages read to 2.75 million pages in 2012. In 2011, a total of 240,110 Colorado residents participated in summer reading programs in public libraries. Of these readers, 152,720 were children, 43,695 teens, and 16,824 adults.

In conjunction, Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond has launched a second summer reading program titled, “Find a Book, Colorado.” By logging onto http://www.lexile.com/findabook/ parents, teachers and students can find a reading map, book search tool and other free resources they can access to help them use measures to find challenging and engaging books for summer reading and throughout the year.

“Research shows that one reason children do not read enough over the summer is because they have difficulty finding books at their reading level that really interest them,” said Hammond. “That is why we are offering the ‘Find a Book’ website to help students find books that are well-matched to their reading skill level and topic interests.”

Readers of all ages can sign up for summer reading programs in their local libraries in June and July. Many studies show that reading regularly during the summer significantly helps students to prevent “summer set-back,” during which students can lose reading gains of the previous school year. Research also suggests that kids read more when they’re having fun, when they see others reading, and when they can choose their own reading material; these activities are all hallmarks of summer reading programs. Younger children participate by being read to by parents or siblings. Even adults get into the game and set their own goals for reading.

For more information about the Summer Reading program through the state library, visit http://www.coloradostatelibrary.org or contact Beth Crist, youth and family services consultant at the Colorado State Library at crist_b@cde.state.co.us or 303-866-6908.

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