Summer loss is not a new problem. Research shows that children's skills decline when they do not actively read during the summer. Low-income kids are especially susceptible because they often go home to text-free environments. If we can connect children with the right books, many of them can avoid this backslide and continue building their reading skills.
In 2009, President Obama made a call to action for each of us to do our part and address summer loss by reading to kids and encouraging them to read on their own. North Carolina did just that. Gov. Bev Perdue launched a statewide summer reading campaign that encouraged all communities to use the free "Find a Book" search to help the state's 1.4 million students select books at their Lexile level. You can easily replicate this initiative by incorporating "Find a Book" into your own summer reading programs.
For the 2012 summer we partnered with twelve states to implement State-wide Summer Reading Programs. To learn more about these summer reading programs, please visit our Chief's Summer Reading Challenge webpage. Click here to view state samples of the 2012 Summer Reading Initiative.
Please join us as we encourage all children to find great books to read throughout the summer. With Lexile measures and "Find a Book," we can make sure all students continue reading, learning and growing when the school year comes to an end.
Find the Right Books for Every Reader!
"Find a Book" can be used—at no cost—as part of any summer reading program to help students build custom book lists on the topics that interest them the most.
Last year, MetaMetrics, the North Carolina Governor's Office and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction launched the statewide"Find-a-Book" summer reading campaign. This initiative focused on using Lexile measures and MetaMetrics' book search of the same name to ensure that all children had great books to read over summer vacation.
To support this campaign, Governor Perdue sent letters to school principals and public librarians, as well as to parents with their child's end-of-grade score reports. The letters were accompanied by informational flyers that each of these groups could reference when helping kids find books based on Lexile measures. Public librarians, for example, were encouraged to keep the flyer at the circulation desk in the event parents or children had questions about Lexile measures or "Find a Book."
- Principals' Letter | Principals' Flyer
- Librarians' Letter | Librarians' Flyer
- Parents' Letter | Parents' Flyer
- "Find a Book" Flyer: English | Spanish
This summer, MetaMetrics is working with a number of state education departments, including those in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois, to launch Lexile-based summer reading programs that will keep children reading and learning when the school year comes to an end.
You work hard throughout the school year to help your students develop the reading skills they need to be successful in the classroom and in life. Then summer break comes and nearly all students' reading skills begin to diminish. With Find a Book,you can help your students build summer reading lists at their reading level and on the subjects that interest them the most to keep them reading long after the last bell of the school year rings.
Ways to get students involved in their own summer reading:
Have your students bring in a book or two to swap with a classmate. Work with local libraries; have a librarian come in and talk about their summer reading promotion and urge parents to get library cards for their kids. To find a library near you, click here. Use "Find a Book" to help students generate their own reading list. On a nice day at the end of the school year, have your students bring a book and blankets and spend some time reading outside. Encourage students to keep summer journals. Use incentives to motivate.
Getting parents involved:
During the summer, parents play a vital role in the fight against summer loss. We have provided a sample letter to send home to parents explaining summer loss and the importance of keeping children reading over the summer You can also include our "Find a Book" flyer in English or Spanish.
Summer break does not have to mean a break from learning. Children who read over the summer can continue strengthening their reading skills. "Find a Book" is a fun and easy way to select books at your child's reading level and on the subjects that interest him or her the most. If you are unsure of your child's Lexile measure, "Find a Book" can help you determine his or her starting Lexile range.
Children need free time in the summer to relax and enjoy reading, so make it fun! Here are some tips:
Read aloud together with your child every day, and let your child read to you.
- Set a good example! Keep lots of reading material around the house and limit distractions, such as TV and video games.
- Take your child to the library regularly. Most libraries have special summer reading activities. To find a library near you, click here.
Subscribe to magazines that are of interest to your child, like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children and National Geographic.
Participate in your child's development year-round with these tips for instilling good reading habits:
Make reading a part of life. If a text is relevant to a child's life, he or she will want to read it.
Discuss with your child what they read. The analytical skills used in discussion are what your child needs for reading tests, not to mention in life.