Belle Glade Sun

Avoid the Summer Slide

PALM BEACH COUNTY — Have you heard about the “Summer Slide?” No, it isn’t a new amusement park. The “Summer Slide” is a phrase used to describe the loss of reading skills that occur during the summer when children no longer have regular reading assignments. Basically, without practice, reading skills can decline.

Parents and caregivers may find it difficult to motivate children to read throughout the year but this is especially true during the summer. Here are some tips to help your child not only retain their reading skills, but improve them …

• Take advantage of pop-up reading activities. Whether it’s trying out a recipe, looking at a road map, or following directions on household items, reading opportunities happen throughout your day.

• Get caught reading. Let your family see you reading. Good habits can be contagious!

• Share a story. Take turns reading with your child and enjoy a wonderful bonding experience.

• Learn something new. Explore a new topic with your child and find reading material on topics that interest them. The lure of learning about a subject they enjoy will motivate them to keep reading.

• Find a book tie-in to spur reading activity. Television and movies are often based on a book or they can introduce a new topic to explore. If your TV has a closed captioning function, enable it. You and your child can read the words on the screen.

• Pack a supply of reading materials. Have materials on hand to help occupy the time when waiting in line, at a doctor’s office, or in the grocery store.

• Download books and magazines to your cellphone or tablet. Keep your child occupied with reading materials during your summer vacation. Many titles are available for kids to download from the library for free.

Library Director Doug Crane said, “The summer is a perfect time to visit the library where you can connect with members of the community, get inspired to try new things, and enjoy the enriching experiences with the whole family.”

For more ideas, visit your local public library to find all the great free resources including books, music, movies, digital content and more. While there, be sure to join the summer reading program with special activities throughout the summer to educate, entertain, and keep your child off that Summer Slide.

The Palm Beach County Library System’s Summer Reading Program started Monday, June 5. Visit any of the locations to sign up!