BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Children everywhere are counting down to the last day of school, but learning doesn’t need to stop just because classes end.
In fact, keeping children’s minds engaged over the summer is key. It’s not just about learning something new, without stimulation children can actually lose some of the lessons they learned during the school year.
“Summer slide is phenomenon where kids if they aren’t reading throughout the summer they are actually declining in their education, it can take up to two or three months of their actual learning off of that they have learned over the past year,” explains Jeremy Davis. He is a Children’s librarian at Hoover Public Library. “A lot of teachers actually have to re-teach what they taught at the end of the year again at the beginning of the next year because students haven’t progressed any over the summer.”
That’s where a summer reading program comes in. The programs are designed to excite children about reading and learning even when school is out. There are prizes based on the number of pages read, and recommended reading lists for each age group.
Hoover Library is holding their summer reading kick off event on Friday from 7pm – 9pm. It’s a star wars theme and they are expecting about one thousand people to attend.
Is isn’t all just about books either. There’s 8 weeks of additional programming with puppet shows, magicians and even an animal show in the library’s theater.
“You can be engaged that way , not just by reading and typical education, but Having your brain engaged with other things,” explains Davis.
Davis says keeping children engaged in learning can help them long term.
“Over the course of a couple of years they can lose a whole grades worth of knowledge and be behind other students in their class if they haven’t continued learning over the summer,” says Davis. “Keeping the reading and keeping engaged in learning helps you keep your brain going and prevent you from losing that.”
Hoover Library will also bring back the free summer lunch program they offered last year. Any child under 18 can come to the library for a free lunch ever weekday from 11am – 1230pm. It’s funded through the USDA.