Reading books will prevent summer slide

For kids, few moments in life are more glorious than the end of the school year and the start of summer vacation. Hooray! Three whole months of sweet freedom!

Unlike in the past, many students do not spend summer break at the library or reading books in the backseat on family trips. In fact, many of them will not open a book until school begins again. Those three months off can take a disastrous toll.

Experts call the effect “summer slide,” and it erases months of hard-earned progress in school, lost ground that kids in need can’t afford. Books are the answer. Studies show that kids who continue to read over the summer not only beat the summer slide, but make even greater gains the following school year.

The Copper Country ISD believes developing a love of reading often starts at home, and is critical in developing life-long readers.

When families make the effort to encourage, support, and engage in literacy activities in their homes, children and family members are more likely to enjoy reading and writing together for the rest of their lives. Although there is strong research that says reading should be rewarded with more reading, it does not hurt to add a little incentive in the summer months.

Summer is the perfect time to explore the world through books — learn about topics of interest, escape to real and imaginary places and let your mind explore new worlds. 

To make summer reading even more fun, kids can take the Read to Ride challenge. To help encourage reading among children and families, the CCISD has partnered with U.P. Kids for a program called “Read to Ride.”

The Herman “Winks” Gundlach Read to Ride program began in the Copper Country in 2001 after U.P. KIDS board member, Herman “Winks” Gundlach learned from his daughter, Martha Gundlach, about a similar program in Vermont. The concept seemed perfect for providing an incentive (winning a bike!) for a positive and enriching activity (reading!).

UP KIDS is joined by several partners including REMC1 / Copper Country & Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School Districts who provide posters, registration, and outreach to schools and libraries; the Daily Mining Gazette that spreads the word through generous and numerous ads; the Houghton and Ironwood-Hurley Rotary Clubs that chip in significant funds; and many other organizations and individuals that donate funds for the twenty bikes and helmets given away each year.

Four regional bike shops (Cross Country Sports, Down Wind Sports, Hancock Bike Shop, The Hobby Wheel) also support the program by providing quality bikes and helmets at or slightly above cost.

Would you like to win a mountain bike? If you are between the ages of 6 and 14 (by July 30, 2018) and a resident of Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw, or Ontonagon counties:

Beginning May 21, read a book or several books! Fill out a Read to Ride entry form.

Turn in your completed entry form(s) by Aug. 6 at one of the places listed on the form.

For each book you read, you have one chance to win. (20 books equials 20 chances)

A drawing will be held Aug. 14.

Forms will be available at school offices, public libraries, CCISD and Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD by calling 482-4520, 800-562-7613, or on online at upkids.com.

George Stockero Jr. is the superintendent of the Copper Country Intermediate School District.

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