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Guilford County Schools Want To Increase Literacy Proficiency With Summer Reading Program

guilford county schools

When students think of summer, most think of sleeping in, no homework or going to the pool. But Guilford County Schools officials want students to add another thing to that list: reading.  Guilford Parent Academy, a parent support program of the school district, created “Break with a Book” to keep students academically engaged over the summer.

The ongoing campaign launched in May and is offered at all 49 of the Title One schools. A Title One school is a school that receives additional federal funding because of the high number of low-income students who attend them.

Director of the Guilford Parent Academy Lindsay Whitley said he wants students to avoid the “summer slide.”

“If they don't remain active over the summer break in terms of academics, they can of course lose ground academically and we don't want that to happen,” he said.

The “summer slide” is when there is a decline in school skills like reading comprehension or mathematics because of an extended period of time away from school.

"Break with a Book" is for students in grades K to 5.

Whitely said his research about the “summer slide” showed him that it’s better to make reading a family effort.

“One thing that was very clear was the access to books in the home and how that can make a difference in terms of preventing that summer slide,” he said.

The program serves more than 20,000 students. Students were able to choose six books to read over the summer. There will be check-ins over the summer for students and their parents to discuss their books.

One of the goals of Guilford County School’s strategic plan is to have 63 percent of students read proficiently by the end of third grade by 2022. They are currently at 53.4 percent.

Students who finish reading their books in the program will get a chance to win a reading tablet.

Naomi Prioleau joined WUNC in January 2017.
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