Superintendent Juneau in Great Falls on National Summer Learning Day


Thursday, June 21, 2012
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Superintendent Juneau in Great Falls on National Summer Learning Day
Joins Boys and Girls Club and Summer Food Program to Promote Summer Reading

Great Falls, MT – Superintendent Denise Juneau was at the Westside Boys and Girls Club in Great Falls on Thursday, June 21, to celebrate Summer Learning Day and give away books to young readers and local summer programs that serve children when school is not in session.

"This summer, I'm reaching out to students, parents, libraries, schools and organizations that serve children during the summer and asking them to join me in taking the Summer 6 Reading Challenge to make sure students don't lose the reading skills they've worked so hard on during the school year while they are on summer vacation," said Superintendent Juneau. "As a former English teacher, instilling a love of reading in Montana students is of special importance to me; however, we all know how critical reading skills are for the future success of our children."

Summer Learning Day is a national celebration to bring awareness to the important role summer learning programs play in the educational achievement and healthy development of children and youth.

Sonya Smith, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Cascade County, said, "The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cascade County understand that the educational needs of children do not take a vacation during the summer months.  A focus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cascade County’s summer program involves implementing high-yield learning activities and fun reading programs.   Using reading programs during the summertime helps to reduce summer learning loss and improves the overall success of students."

Research shows that students who don’t read during the summer break run the risk of losing some of their reading comprehension skills and have a much harder time catching up when school starts again in the fall. This is called the “summer slide.” Over the years, the achievement gap widens between students who read during the summer break and those who don’t. Research also demonstrates that reading just six books during the summer can help keep a struggling reader from falling behind.

Superintendent Juneau is partnering with local libraries, summer food sites, Boys and Girls Clubs and other organizations that serve children during the summer months to promote the Summer 6 Reading Challenge and to increase access to books by donating more than 3,000 children's books at events across the state throughout the summer.

Juneau has also launched a web page where students can sign up to take the "Summer 6 Reading Challenge" and become eligible for prizes. The web page also has tips for families, schools and libraries to encourage summer reading.  For more information and to take the challenge, go to: http://opi.mt.gov/read6books

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