We, at Pleasant Elementary, celebrate the wrapping up of another successful school year with your child, our student. Our gift to you is uninterrupted time with your child this summer.
Summer is a great time to participate in enriching experiences, such as time with family or trips to museums, parks and libraries. For success in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. This is especially true during the summer months.
All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer (Downey et al, 2004). Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. (Cooper, 1996).
Children are thinking and dreaming of things they are going to do this summer. Kids need opportunities to connect learned knowledge to real life experiences. Keeping our children engaged in learning can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. Having our children home with us during school breaks is an opportunity to develop a love of learning together, in which they can discover learning is fun and can happen anytime and anywhere.
The National Education Association (nea.org) has an extensive list of summer reading websites and resources, as well as, The Association for Library Service to Children (ala.org) has a summer reading list geared toward your child’s specific age group. Just put summer reading in the search box.
Additional summer resources shared from Arlington Public Schools:
• Barnes and Noble’s summer reading program: The Barnes & Noble summer reading program is here to help you on your way, encouraging you to read books of your own choosing and earn a free book. (www.barnesandnoble.com)
• Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford The Big Red Dog: interactive storybooks: Phonics fun, games, and stories for early readers. (www.pbskids.org)
• Discovery Education: Discovery Education offers free student resources that bring learning to life both inside and outside the classroom. You are invited you to take a look at our interactive games, videos, contests, virtual labs and activities designed to help you dive deeper into a topic — and have fun too. (www.discoveryeducation.com)
• Fun Brain: Funbrain, created for children age preschool through eighth grade, offers more than 100 fun, interactive games that develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Plus, kids can read a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amelia Writes Again, and Brewster Rocket. (www.funbrain.com)
• National Geographic Explorer for Kids: An online version of the award-wining magazine. (www.kids.nationageographic.com)
• PBS Kids: Between the Lions: Looking for fun activities and games you can do with your children throughout the day to help them learn to read and write? You’ll find them here, along with recommended books and tips to get your kids wild about books and reading. (www.pbs.kids.org/lions)
• PBS Parents: PBS Parents is a trusted resource that’s filled with information on child development and early learning. It also serves as a parent’s window to the world of PBS Kids, offering access to educational games and activities inspired by PBS KIDS programs. (www.pbs.org/parents)
• Reading Rockets: Reading Rockets is a national, multi-media project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Our reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. www.readingrockets.org/
• Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online program designed to motivate and excite kids around reading books this summer. (www.scholastic.com/summer/home)
• Starfall: A systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschooling and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL) (www.starfall.com)
• Storyline Online: Streams imaginatively produced videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations, helping to inspire a love of reading in children. (www.storyonline.net)
And, “wrapping up” our list are activities right in our own backyard at the Norwalk Public Library:
Summer reading begins June 4. Sneak peek; frozen yogurt on June 4, LEGO Day, Zoo bringing in animals, Ozobot races, sing-alongs, build your own roller coaster. Their website for more information is www.norwalk.Lib.oh.us.
Thank you once again for sharing the gift of time with your child this year. We can’t wait to un-wrap again in August. Our Pleasant staff wishes you all the best for your summer vacation. Here’s to unlimited fun with family and friends! See you in August.
Local columnist V. Janice Smith is the Pleasant Elementary principal.