Governor Cooper proclaimed July 8-13 as Summer Learning Week in North Carolina, highlighting the importance summer plays in children’s school achievement and calling on communities to champion summer learning.
In the summer, students from low-income families can lose academic gains made during the previous school year at a higher rate than their peers. While students tend to progress at the same rate during the school year, more than 80 percent of children from economically disadvantaged families lose reading skills over the summer. Summer learning losses accumulate each year to impact third grade reading proficiency. Third grade reading proficiency can predict academic and career success. In fact, some research suggests that summer learning loss may account for as much as 80 percent of the income-based achievement gap.
The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation is supporting summer program providers’ focus on summer learning with a new toolkit for 2019. It includes communication tools to help program staff understand the importance of summer learning so that they can communicate effectively with parents; information and resources to relay to parents each week in the summer, and summer learning stickers.
Communities across North Carolina hosted all kinds of events last week to engage children and families about the importance of summer learning with activities that help build brains!
Here are some of the highlights of what happened:
- The Wayne County Public Library, with over 25 community partners, hosted a Summer Learning Kick Off event in June to provide families with information about opportunities to keep their children learning all summer long. They have also partnered with small businesses to encourage children to read and talk about what they are reading. Whenever a family enters a participating business, the staff ask children about what they are reading and the child is then given a “Kit Buck,” which features the library’s mascot. The child can bring their buck into any branch of the Wayne County Public Library to trade it in for a book or educational toy. They can get one per week throughout the summer. The Mayor of the City of Goldsboro also issued a proclamation declaring July 8-13 2019 Summer Learning Week in Goldsboro.
- Ready Set READ Rowan has worked with the Rowan Salisbury Schools to deliver books along with Summer Meals “Yum-Yum” Bus deliveries. Students board the buses and choose from a large selection of books that have been purchased from scholastic books or donated by community members. More details about Rowan County events are here.
- Richmond County Partnership for Children partnered with our Reach Out and Read medical providers, local libraries, child care providers, and various community agencies to promote and encourage summer learning, early literacy and parent engagement. Activities are being held throughout the summer including family and children’s movies and summer readings.
- READ ENC Community Literacy Coalition held activities all week in Pitt County including a Haiku Writing Workshop, STEM Day Expo, College and Career Readiness Tours and Open Houses, two Read on the Common Events (Greenville and Farmville), and a Family Health and Wellness Event. In addition, Greenville Mayor, PJ Connelly proclaimed July 8-13 as Summer Learning Week.
- The Gaston County Public Library hosted story time and free dental screening in collaboration with the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Van. There were also STEM programs around the county including at the Schiele Museum of Natural History.
- Kick off in Nash and Edgecombe Counties’ Read to Rise started with Read in the Park followed by activities to support STEM, arts, career and college readiness, literacy and nutrition and wellness. Volunteer readers reported to participating sites and children held mock interviews to document and share each other’s favorite summer learning or physical activities.
- At Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Book Harvest hosted a Read-A-Palooza Summer Learning Block Party. The free, community-wide event included games, activities, snacks, free books and photo opportunities with Clifford the Big Red Dog and Dogman with a special focus on providing diverse and inclusive books.
Our press release about Summer Learning Week can be found here.