Keep children reading to prevent 'summer slide'

To prevent the summer slide of kids' spelling and vocabulary, make sure they're reading / Matt Thielke (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Now that students are of out school for the next couple of months, its important for them to prevent the "summer slide."

Virginia Elliott, the regional children's reading coordinator with the Middle Georgia Regional Library, said that summer reading is important for children's education.

"The summer slide is when children return back to school after not engaging in literacy or development and they can sometimes be weeks behind," Elliott said.

Reading keeps their brains functioning and helps them jump ahead.

Dr. Joe Robinson with Georgia Neurosurgical Institute said the brain is complicated and if it isn't trained, it's lost.

"Intellectual interchange is necessary," Robinson said. Some kind of cognitive work every day is a good thing to do. People that are in isolation or in absence of mental stimulation; things can go the wrong way for them."

There are things people can do at any age to build a stronger memory. Medical studies show that practice with memory games can help improve it.

We can look at how children learn and retain knowledge as an example.

"Literacy is definitely a 'use it or lose it' thing," Elliott said.

Spelling and vocabulary can suffer if they don't read or aren't read to.

"It increases vocabulary," Elliott said. "And for early literacy, it increases vocabulary and decreases word gap. It's where children that are two, three or even four and five when they are in school, speaking longer, fuller sentences."

Parents also like the idea of summer reading because it gives children something to do and keeps them ahead in school.

The Middle Georgia Regional Library's reading program kickoff is Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Washington Memorial Library.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off