Sullivan Free Library's Blog

June 25, 2010

The Importance of Summer Reading

All around the country, libraries and bookstores are gearing up for extensive summer reading programs for children.   This is not just a marketing strategy to raise circulation and book sales, but based on hard evidence:  children who read over the long summer break are more likely to do well when they return to school in the fall.  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.  Summer reading loss is cumulative. Children don’t “catch up” in fall because the other children are moving ahead with their skills. By the
end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer are two years behind their classmates.

Children need to read outside of school. Research clearly shows that the key to stemming summer reading loss is finding novel ways to get books into the hands of children during the summer break.   Studies suggest that children who read as few as six books over the summer maintain the level of reading skills they achieved during the preceding school year. Reading more books leads to even greater success.

The summer reading programs sponsored by public libraries offer an invaluable service to families by providing free programs and resources to help children maintain reading skills.  Libraries offer incentives to motivate children to read, a wide range of interesting titles at all reading levels and fun programs to get children in to the library involved.

The importance of summer reading is so widely recognized that bookstores and other establishments offer incentives to encourage children to read as well:

Barnes & Noble



New York State

Be sure to visit your local library or one of the links above to find ways to encourage your child to read this summer.  Remember: the best way to encourage skill development in your child is to be a good role model–so check out the Adult Summer Reading programs as well!   Both locations of the Sullivan Free Library have programs for both groups this summer.



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