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30 May 2014

"Summer Slide" Article

Just a quick post about an article I wrote that was published in one of the local papers last week: Just Read

Reading during the summer acts as an essential vaccine against summer slide.

Summer slide is what happens to kids’ brains when they spend months out of the classroom and in front of the TV set instead; all of that precious knowledge they picked up in the past school year starts to slide right out of their minds. The problem is especially noticeable among kids from disadvantaged backgrounds or underprivileged schools. Scientific studies back up this claim. For example, a 2007 Johns Hopkins University longitudinal study in Baltimore showed this problem disproportionately impacts low-income children whose families do not have the resources to purchase educational games or send them to special camps. 
So, how can kids and their parents avoid this insidious summer slide without turning a gloriously school-free summer into miserable weeks of study and drudgery? A follow-up analysis of the Baltimore study published in 2012 tells us that the answer is surprisingly simple — read. Play mind-stimulating puzzle games, try a few art projects, dust off those old binoculars and go for a nature hike, but most of all — read.
Summer is when your local public library shines. A 2010 article in the International Reading Association’s Reading Today newsletter posits that lack of easy access to books directly translates to lack of voluntary reading, which leads to loss of reading skill over time. However, most public libraries — including every public library in Galveston County — offer free summer reading programs for children and teenagers.
I don't feel right posting the article in its entirety here, but I think you get the point. Anyway, you can read the whole thing at the Galveston Daily News website, but you'll have to get past the paywall first, I'm afraid.

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