Educators stress importance of students reading consistently over summer break

GRIFTON, N.C. (WNCT) – It is summer break for school districts across North Carolina, and teachers want to remind students and their parents that they should be reading to avoid the summer slide.

Local educators say literacy skills start early in life, which is why they are trying to stress the importance of reading between school years.

“I know as a middle school teacher what it was like to have a child come into my classroom and not be able to read,” former teacher Shirley Mewborn said.”

Mewborn said it was obvious to her at the beginning of each school year who hadn’t picked up a book since May.

“You can tell that some kids had just forgotten things that they were taught the previous school year,” Mewborn said. “Part of that comes in not keeping their mind actively involved during the summer.”

Educators say if children stop reading over the summer, they can drop as many as two reading levels.

“”If a student hasn’t been reading all summer, they will actually slide backwards,” Grifton School principal Kevin Smith said.

Children don’t have to limit themselves to books. They can pick up magazines or their tablets.

“They can read street signs, reading off the menu at restaurants, you have access to those electronic resources that can help you too.”

Schools are encouraging parents to get involved with their children’s education as well.

“You can read a page, then the child can read a page,” Principal Smith said. “That helps model good reading skills.”

Educators say it’s just as much the responsibility of the parent as it is the teachers, especially during the summer months.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” Principal Smith said. “We can work together and expose a child to different learning opportunities.”

“It’s a skill that they are going to use the rest of their life,” Mewborne added.

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