Wondering where your Youth Librarian is?
Every May/June the Kitsap Regional Library youth services librarians take to the road to spread information about the library’s Summer Learning (formerly known as Summer Reading) program to all of the county’s school-aged youth at over 50 different schools. Although we do this for a number of different reasons there is one major underlying goal: help stop summer ‘slide.’ Summer slide is the term that represents the learning losses that occur when children do not have the chance to participate in educational opportunities over the summer. In their research brief "Doesn't Every Child Deserve a a Memorable Summer?" the National Summer Learning Association notes that “…Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.” Even worse, there is a direct correlation between lack of summer educational opportunities and a ninth-grade achievement gap which, in turn, can cause students to not graduate from high school (Alexander et al. 2007).
The information above makes my parent/librarian selves shudder violently. Two months-worth of learning is a lot to lose. Fortunately, Kitsap Regional Library’s Summer Learning program is there to stop summer slide in a number of ways. We provide quality educational programs (many STEM-oriented) free of charge, we encourage Kitsap County youth to read 10 or more hours (many children/teens even read for 100 or more hours) and we encourage individuals/families to engage in learning opportunities. For example, many who participated in the Summer Learning "Inspire" challenge last year set family goals like building a vegetable garden or learning how to build a robot.
I am proud that Kitsap Regional Library’s Summer Learning program has so much to offer Kitsap County youth and I am proud to be part of the team that takes it out to our local schools. We can all make a difference this summer by encouraging every Kitsap County child/teen to participate in Summer Learning and all of the wonderful things that it offers. See you on June 1st at your friendly neighborhood library!