Losing Ground

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Many experts agree that reading is the best and easiest way to keep kids learning. This summer, the Washoe County Library System has launched a reading program to inspire kids to pick up a book. They also offer free, weekly workshops and presentations to hook kids on the healthy habit.
That very important telephone number...which is? 911! To the delight of a couple dozen kids from the under-ten crowd, Danny the Dragon from the Reno Fire Department stopped by the Spanish Springs Library to teach the kids about fire safety. Informative, yes. And, a good way to attract kids and their parents to this center of learning.
Jacob Cothrun "I love turtles. They're great swimmers and they're great catchers of food."
Jacob's mom, Lisa, brings her son to the library a couple times a week so he can check out books.
She says that reading factors heavily into his summer activities. Lisa Cothrun, from Sparks says "We do keep him busy and we keep reading, and his grandpa reads to him a lot. And when he does go back, he's definitely on track with everyone else."
A new study reports that kids who are not involved with some sort of educational activity over the summer could lose ground--particularly in their math skills--when it's time to return to school.
What's more, is that teachers are sometimes forced to spend four to six weeks at the beginning of the school year, bringing their students up to speed.
Julia Ullman, Spanish Springs Library "You think that maybe reading doesn't have anything to do with math. But reading and reading comprehension are part of everything. When you take a math test and it's a word problem, if you can't understand how a sentence is really going together, it does affect that." Julie Ullman is the Programs Librarian at this Spanish Springs Branch. When it comes to kids and reading, she offers this advice: let kids choose their own books.
"Get them to where they love reading because it just opens new worlds for them."
Reading isn't the only way to keep your kids' minds sharp over the summer months. Experts also suggest finding writing or acting classes through community centers and schools. And, check with your local library for summer programs for your children.