Supt. Juneau and First Lady Bullock Launch Summer Six Reading Challenge
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By Allyson Hagen
Supt. Juneau and First Lady Lisa Bullock Launch Summer Six Reading Challenge
Helena, MT – Superintendent Denise Juneau was joined by First Lady Lisa Bullock, the Montana State Library, educators and students at Lincoln School in Helena to launch the Summer Six Reading Challenge. This is the second year that Superintendent Juneau has led a statewide effort to keep kids reading during the summer months.
"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,” said Superintendent Juneau. "Families, libraries and other summer programs can help us ensure that students don't lose the reading skills they've worked so hard on during the school year while they are on summer vacation.”
Superintendent Juneau is partnering with public schools, local libraries, summer food sites and organizations that serve children during the summer months to promote the Summer Six Reading Challenge and to increase access to books by donating more than 3,000 children's books across the state throughout the summer. Juneau has also set a goal of 2,000 students taking the Summer Six Reading Challenge.
Stated First Lady Lisa Bullock, “It is critical that our students continue to read throughout the summer, so they don’t fall behind and are ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.” She continued, “With three young kids at home, we will spend lots of time reading together this summer. I hope Montana parents will join me by encouraging your children to sign up for the Summer Six program, building reading into everyday activities and making reading a fun part of summer!”
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.
"Libraries across Montana stand ready to help students with their summer reading needs," said Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian. "We encourage students and parents to learn more about their local library services, including summer reading programs."
As part of the challenge, the Office of Public Instruction has launched a web page where students can read along with First Lady Bullock as she reads “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein and Superintendent Juneau as she reads “Red Parka Mary” by Peter Eyvindson. Students can also sign up to take the Summer Six Reading Challenge and become eligible for prizes on the webpage.
Summer Six Reading Challenge webpage: http://opi.mt.gov/read6books.