Altoona book program prevents the summer slide

Lauryn Seering |

Getting kids excited about reading is becoming an ambitious endeavor. With so many visually mindless distractions, kids habitually grow into a summer slide.

As Scholastic Books explains, summer slides occur when struggling readers slip out of practice. Since no teachers or adults are ‘forcing them to read’ they begin to associate reading with work and school. Research shows that if children don’t continue to read over summer they can loose up to a year of what they learned in the past. 

In Altoona, a joint effort by The Pedersen School Parent-Teacher Organization, the Altoona Children’s Council and an anonymous donation began Books in the Park. 

Books in the Park is a new initiative to get kids reading. Last week more than 225 Altoona students attended the first of four sessions.  

This event allows every student who attends to walk away with one free book. These are books that the children pick out themselves; when children are allowed to pick what they read they tend to get more excited.

Scholastic explains that preventing the summer slide is simple. Six books are all a child needs for summer success, and if you attend the Books in the Park you get one for free.

Scholastic warns to watch out for books that are above a child’s reading level. If the books are too difficult to understand, it might turn the child away from reading.

Being a role model for children and showing them you love reading is vital. You can easily make a habit of sitting outside on a nice day and reading a book aloud. Or you could purchase audio books and play them in the car.

Once a kid sees reading as fun rather than work they will be more willing to develop it as a lifelong hobby.

The next Books in the Park will be on July 1, July 15, and July 29
from 10:30am to 1:30pm at 10 Street Park in Altoona.