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NJ Parents Encouraged to Push Summer Reading [AUDIO]

Now that the majority of New Jersey students are out of school, parents are being urged to not let the kids completely space out this summer.

Flickr User Westmont Public Library

Several studies show kids, especially from lower income families, lose two to three months of reading skills over the summer, unless they’re involved in specific programs that encourage book reading.

“Parents need to look for opportunities to involve their children in various programs. There are district programs, community programs, library programs and a lot of things that are available for free for kids, that will keep them engaged, keep them reading,” says the CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, Gary Huggins.

He stresses parents need to make it clear that while summer is certainly a break from school, it is not a break from learning.

“There are many great assets and tools – free tools out there like bookadventure.com, that allow kids to have access to thousands of book titles for books that match their interest and their reading ability level so that they’re engaging in reading material that really kind of grabs them, keeps them.”

Huggins adds math is also important.

He says if the family is going on vacation, parents should “engage your child in doing the math, of making the budget for the vacation, figuring out the mileage and the hours of where you are traveling…it’s really about not being passive and not letting those teachable moments pass.”

He adds several recent studies have shown many teachers spend between three to six weeks at the beginning of the school year re-teaching old concepts and materials from the previous year, when kids have not practiced reading and math over the summer.

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