You may see something yellow popping up in yards around Grand County this summer. And we’re not just talking about the dandelions.
Participants in the Grand County Library District’s (GCLD) popular summer reading program receive free yard signs declaring their commitment to a summer of page-turning. The phrase “Proud to be a Reader! I joined the Summer Reading Program” appears beneath the Library’s logo on the bright yellow signs.
Grand County Library District, through their summer reading programs, put books in the hands of children. This is the best antidote for the ‘summer slide’ in children’s reading achievement. Access to books and library programs over the summer results in more reading which, in turn, results in improved reading skills.
“The Summer Reading Program makes reading fun. It encourages children to discover a love of books and develop a powerful habit which lasts a lifetime,” said Mary Anne Wilcox, executive director of the Grand County Library District.
Keeping kids reading over the summer has proven benefits. According to the Colorado Department of Education, the average student achievement loss, or “summer set-back” is three months for low-income students and a month for middle-income students. By the end of 5th grade, students who do not read during the summer are behind their peers by a full two years on average.
Just like tee-ball or soccer, kids need to have regular reading practice to continue building vocabulary and comprehension through the summer months. Without the added pressure of a book report or assignment due, kids can have a greater sense of freedom in selecting any kind of books that interest them.
Summer Reading Programs are designed to reduce the “summer set-back” by setting reading goals for children, teens—and even adults—with prizes as rewards when goals are reached.
Jane Harmon, the principal at Granby Elementary School, is so supportive of the idea that she is sending an invitation to every one of her students participating in the program to join her for a special book discussion at the end of the summer. And the students will also be honored at an assembly once school begins again.
Summer Reading sign up continues all summer long at all Grand County Library branches.