Donations spur opportunities for summer readingTeachers, parents and community members spent two months accumulating 8,000 books. It took three days to distribute them.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Teachers, parents and community members spent two months accumulating 8,000 books. It took three days to distribute them.
Tuesday, seventh grade students at Superior Middle School browsed through tables piled with the donated books. Some asked for war tales, others for Newbery Medal winners. All of them left with three books apiece, fodder for summer reading.
“It’s an effort to increase summer literacy and provide books for kids,” said SMS Principal Rick Flaherty.
Andrea Tuura, the school’s literacy coach, headed the project. She sent out a call for books in the school newsletter. The response, she said, was amazing.
“Every day the (collection) box was full,” Tuura said.
Retiring teachers donated their classroom collections; a local chiropractor brought dozens of new books.
“People have emptied out their home libraries,” for kids, Flaherty said.
The book give-away is an attempt to prevent summer reading loss.
“The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect,” Tuura wrote in a summer reading guide for parents.
The amount of free reading done outside of school translates into growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency and general information. Students who read independently become better readers and score higher on achievement test in all subject areas, Tuura said.
Her parent’s guide includes ideas to encourage reading, from setting an example to dropping by the local library. Parents can sneak in some reading with song lyrics, cookbooks, food labels, instructions and comic books. They can even read out loud to their children.
“Every bit of reading counts,” Tuura said.
Not all of the book donations were young adult fare. Many children’s books were collected. Tuura encouraged students to take some of them home, as well, and read to their younger siblings during the summer.