Summer reading program
Summer reading program
Posted on 07/01/2015
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Carrigan Summer Reading Guide
Summer public library events for kids‚Äč

June 26, 2015 —Classes may be over for the 2014-15 school year, but West Haven Public School District teachers hope students are still hitting the books.

Students at all grade levels are encouraged to join the annual summer reading program coordinated by the district’s Reading Department and school librarians with assistance from the West Haven Public Library. The initiative also promotes participation in the 2015 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge and a theme of “Every Hero has a Story.”

Schools provided students with lists of recommended books based on grade level and have made them available at city library branches. City librarians also visited schools at the end of the year to talk to students about stopping by the library over the summer, and city Children’s Librarian Bernadette Niedermeier was a special guest at a Family Literacy Night held by Washington Elementary School and Savin Rock Community School, discussing services offered at the library and providing library card applications to families.

It’s important for students to continue to read over the summer to maintain and build upon literacy skills developed during the school year, said Colette Bennett, the district’s coordinator for English, social studies and library media center curriculums.

“We hope for all of our students in every grade to love reading, and if they don’t yet, we want to help them find the book that will change their whole mindset about it. They use reading in every subject in school, even math, and it’s a skill they need for the rest of their lives. The summer reading program is great because it’s about reading for fun and making your own choices about what books you pick up,” Bennett added. “The list of recommended titles provides suggestions, but it can simply be a starting point that guides students toward even more genres, authors and subjects that might pique their interest.”

Schools have also outlined ways for parents to help their children with summer reading: Bring a book or magazine to any location where your child has to wait, such as a doctor’s office; ask your child about the story he or she read; encourage reading as a free-time activity; help your child choose books that are an appropriate reading level; and make books and reading special by taking your child to the library, getting him or her a library card, reading together, creating a favorite place for books at home, and buying books as gifts.

When classes resume this fall, teachers will be discussing summer reading and the theme of heroes, as well as holding special activities related to summer reading, such as book chats. West Haven High School’s library media specialist, Jillian Woychowski, is also using a blog and Twitter to suggest even more titles to students, and some schools are offering incentives for completing reading logs, such as an entry into a raffle.