The impact of the "Summer Slide" - the learning loss experienced while transitioning between school years - may be steeper than normal due to the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic as students have been learning from home since mid-March. That is why residents, especially young readers, are encouraged to continue their at-home learning by including the Mesa Public Library's annual Summer Reading Program into their plans.
The program begins June 1 and is completely online this summer. This year's theme is "Imagine Your Story" and encourages participants to exercise their minds by reading at least 20 minutes a day.
"The summer slide is real and the addition of school closures due to COVID-19 makes our Summer Reading Program more important than ever," Mayor John Giles said. "This program offers Mesa kids a great opportunity to help them keep pace at home and get ready for the next school year."
The summer reading program encourages reading all summer long, while earning great prizes and participating in fun challenges all from the comfort of home at Read20az.com (English) or leepor20az.com (Spanish). This award-winning online platform was designed by the Maricopa County Library District with support from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, and federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
"Most people don't realize that our summer reading programs are open to adults as well as children," Library Director Heather Wolf said. "This year, more than ever, we want to make summer reading a family affair and encourage parents to join in on reading 20 minutes a day with their kids. One of the most effective ways to encourage kids to read is to be a role model."
All participants will need to register online to log their reading hours. Every minute spent reading equals one point. Participants can also earn points and virtual badges by completing online challenges. An enhancement to this year's program is a lineup of streaming online events from local performers with new performances posted each week throughout the summer.
There are various prizes and coupons available, while supplies last, when achieving certain point levels. Earn 1,000 points to complete the program and receive a free book. Prize distribution, as well as raffle drawings, will take place in August. You can view all the details posted online at www.MesaLibrary.org. The Summer Reading Program continues through Aug. 1.
Studies have shown that students who participate in a summer reading program have better reading skills at the end of third grade and score higher on standardized tests than students who do not participate. Summer reading loss is also cumulative -- by the end of 6th grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates. Reading just five books over the summer can prevent summer learning loss.
Contact: Kevin Christopher