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Organizations fight against lack of kid's summer reading

June 18, 2018 | Source: KLBK News

While kids are out of school for the summer with more time for fun on their hands, lack of academic challenges can increase their learning loss.

Lubbock United Way is partnering alongside Lubbock schools, local libraries, and KTTZ to beat the effects of "summer slide." According to Lubbock United Way, summer slide is the reading loss of two to three months that kids experience if they don't continue to read during summer break.

"Kids who sit at home, watch TV, don't spend time reading throughout the summer, they are actually going to come back to school behind the rest of their peers," said Amanda McAfee, director of communications for Lubbock United Way. 

United Way pulled together a list of every learning and reading opportunity happening in Lubbock this summer, and placed it on their website. This makes it easy for parents to find events that could help their kids continue to grow in learning skills. 

Carolyn Simpson, Community Impact Associate for Lubbock United Way, explained that skills like reading are learned, and so children must practice in order to maintain their reading level. Otherwise, teachers will have to spend a great deal of time catching students back up to their grade level.

Children from lower-income homes are even more likely to fall behind as they usually don't have the same opportunities to learn over the summer that children from advantaged homes do, she said.

"That's why a lot of the things that we have on this calendar, our website are very, very important," she said. "Anyone can go to the website and find activities at low cost and free for their children to participate in."

The program events include camps at the Science Spectrum, story times at Barnes & Noble and a Wild Kratts marathon at Alamo Drafthouse.

"There's a lot of fun to be had that's connected with summer reading," said McAfee. "We really want to encourage kids to find that fun way to engage in reading, find that character they love, find that book that they love."

McAfee believed literacy skills are the key to life that opens a world of possibilities to so many people. 

"It's so important that we start early and we get kids ready to read before they even get into school," she said. "Imagine not being able to read the instructions on your medication and how to take that medication."

You can access the calendar of learning program events here: http://www.liveunitedlubbock.org/summer-reading

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