APS students receive four free books to read over the summer break
By Mariama Tyler Jenkins
School may be out for APS students, but we want students to know that Reading is in. This year, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) launched “School’s Out! Reading is In!”, a summer reading initiative for all APS students in grades kindergarten through rising 12. The program aims to help combat summer slide –the academic loss students experience during summer break–by providing reading resources and opportunities for students of all ages. Some 50,000 students received four, grade-level appropriate books to read during the summer break.
In order to build additional excitement around summer reading, schools across the district held summer reading kicks-off events to promote literacy and get students excited about reading over the summer. Students received colorful backpacks stuffed with books and a letter from APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen. The letter encourages parents to spend time reading with their children. Students also will receive incentives designed to encourage and reward reading.
“Research shows that children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three or four times more likely to drop out in later years,” said Dr. Alisha Hill, Atlanta Public Schools’ 6-12th grade literacy coordinator. “APS is working not only to promote early literacy, but also to foster a joy for reading and writing that extends beyond the classroom so that our students can excel in school and in life.”
School’s Out! Reading Is In! includes opportunities for families to engage in reading activities in their communities such as local libraries and bookstores. During the summer, students and their families can track their student’s progress and participate in fun activities that are centered around the selected books.
“Students were really excited to see Homer and Clifford delivering the books It made it really exciting and I am sure it is going to encourage them to read during the summer,” said Dr. Clara Taylor, principal of D.H. Stanton. “Our parents are aware of how importing reading over the summer is to student learning.”
The literacy initiative goes through August 2015. Once schools are back in session, teachers will incorporate the books as part of their literacy instruction at each school. Parents and community members can visit the Atlanta Public Schools website for more information at www.atlantapublicschools.us/summerreading. Click here for a list of summer reading books by grade level.