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HISD and Houston Library System Partner for Summer Reading

The Houston School District and the city’s public library system are joining forces to keep local students from falling behind on their reading skills this summer. A program aimed at encouraging students to read at least five books this summer is a first-time partnership between HISD and the library system.

This is superintendent Dr. Abe Saavedra.


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“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.


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“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.


click here for audio file
“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 books
that are appropriate for their reading skills.

Visit the Houston Public Library website to for more information.

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