here for a video message from State School Superintendent Richard Woods and
State Librarian Julie Walker
July 12, 2018 – For Georgia’s kids, summer is a
time for fun and family – but it’s also a critical time to keep learning.
Literacy, and being able to read on grade level, plays such an important role
in all educational attainment that we can’t afford to hit the brakes on reading
during the summer months.
Research has found that when students don’t read during the
summer, they lose up to three months of reading ability. This “summer
slide" lowers achievement potential; the effect is more pronounced as
students get older and for those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds,
according to a Johns Hopkins University study. The same
study shows that, for students in low-income areas, elementary school summer
learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in high school.
Without enriching summer learning
opportunities that are both affordable and accessible to all, the loss of our
children’s potential future success increases exponentially.
The good news is that our state’s public libraries have a robust
Summer Reading Program in every county, where kids of every age can discover a
love for reading and grow new skills from robotics to gardening. In many
libraries, they also can get a hot meal, bridging the gap for the more than 60
percent of families who rely on free
or reduced-price meals during the school year. Click here for all summer meal
Another key way to stop the summer slide is for parents to read
with their children and listen to audiobooks. Your library card gives you free
access to both of these resources.
There are also many online and in-person summer learning
resources available to families. To make this information easily accessible to
families, the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Public Library Service
and other Get
Georgia Reading partners came together to create GeorgiaSummer.org.
The site includes information on reading resources, summer meals, and more.
Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Public Library Service and other
partners are committed to giving our kids the opportunity to learn, year-round.
As a state, we’ve strengthened our commitment to literacy through partnerships
like the Get
Georgia Reading Campaign, which brings public and private leaders
together to take on third-grade reading as an urgent priority. Thirty-eight
school districts – recipients of the L4GA
literacy grant – are forming birth-12, community-school partnerships to improve
literacy outcomes. Georgia’s public libraries are collaborating with their
local school districts – for example, in
Cobb County, students can now use their student IDs as library
cards. That’s something we ultimately hope to see scaled up statewide.
can’t afford for these efforts to halt during the summer months – or for
students to lose the educational ground they’ve gained during the year.
is a priority because children are our priority – and we know that’s the same
for you, too. We urge parents, families, and others who interact with Georgia’s
children to take advantage of the resources available and keep students reading
during the summer.
their success, our state’s future won’t be as bright.
State Librarian Julie Walker and State School Superintendent Richard Woods