"We in HISD know that our students work very hard all year long to achieve great academic success. The data also tells us that some of the knowledge gained during the school year kind of goes away during the summer if students do not remain engaged in their studies. Children who read for pleasure during the summer are often able to maintain their academic growth from the previous school year."
The district hopes students read a collective 1 million books this summer. Jim Hundemer is HISD's manager of library services and says it's clear students lose skills if they don't read in the summer. "We've always known we have a problem with summer loss. The other thing we know about summer loss is that it's cumulative. So if our students, especially moving from five to six [grade], are distracted and don't do some reading, they will go back to school in August with as much as a three-month deficit. And that deficit becomes cumulative and they get further and further behind, so we wanted to address it."
Rhea Brown Lawson is director of the Houston Library System and says the partnership is tailored to make it as easy as possible for students to read this summer. "From the school end, they have selected the books that are most appropriate for children at every age level. From the library's end, we have purchased those books so that they will be available during the summer so they are completely accessible. As a bonus, kids get incentives for reading, so they don't know it, but they are excelling their reading skills by having fun reading during the summer from carefully selected books."
The library system will also use lexile scores to help students pick booksthat are appropriate for their reading skills. Visit the Houston Public Library website to for more information.
This is superintendent Dr. Abe Saavedra.