As the weather gets warmer – well, other than this week – and students’ thoughts turn to summer vacation, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) is encouraging South Queens youngsters to keep learning even when they don’t have to go to class.
Goldfeder this week announced his annual Summer Reading Challenge, which he said helps to keep students’ minds active and encourage academic activity outside of school walls.
Children who participate in the program will be awarded an Excellence in Reading certificate, which the legislator will hand deliver to pupils when they return to school next fall.
“As a father of two young children who both successfully completed the summer challenge, I understand the value of continuing our education into the summer,” Goldfeder said in a prepared statement. “Reading is a great way for students of all ages to enhance their learning throughout the summer and by encouraging kids to keep their minds active, the annual Summer Reading Challenge gives them a jumpstart on the coming school year.”
Each year, the Assembly partners with New York State libraries to motivate children to continue to read during the summer months – something which researchers say is crucial to students doing well academically throughout the year. According to a study published in the Review of Educational Research, it has been estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected.
To participate in the program, children must read by themselves or with a partner for a minimum of 15 minutes every day for at least 40 days throughout July and August.
“Research has shown that literacy skills develop early and are strengthened when children read during the summer months,” Goldfeder said. “The challenge is a great way to spend time with our kids and keep books in the hands of children when school is not in session.”
By Anna Gustafson