Summer is here and the slide is on. “Summer Slide” occurs when students discontinue academic stimulation during the summer months. Students generally lose 2 to 3 months of learning over the
summer. This is the reason why teachers spend the greater portion of the first quarter of school reviewing what was taught the previous year. The need to spend so many weeks reviewing the previous year impacts the amount of learning that can take place in the current school year.

If students consistently “take the summer off” from academic learning, by the time they reach high school, they are significantly behind those students who spend the summer improving their academic skills and learning new ones. Students that have continued learning during the summer have greatly increased their chances of gaining admission to the college of their choice.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), one in four children reach adulthood not knowing how to read.

The Nation’s Report Card and the National Reading Panel have found that only 32% of 4th
grade students and 31% of 8th grade students read at grade level.

Recent statistics show that the number of American adults that are not proficient readers increases by 2.25 million every year.

Summer learning does not need to be done in a structured camp or a classroom. Encouraging students to read and engaging in reading with them can slow down that backward summer slide. Parents can read books their children are reading and then discuss the books with their child. Parental involvement stresses the importance of reading to the child. There are phonics based computer programs and sight word games that can be used to close the reading skills gap if a student is performing below grade level.

The rising number of children reading below grade level has turned into an illiteracy epidemic. The majority of these children fail to reach their potential as adults. Research shows that 21% of U.S. adults read below a fifth grade level. Many of these adults will find themselves on welfare and or in the penal system. This situation is costly for all of us. The fact that 19% of high school graduates cannot read, shows that parents cannot depend on the school system to teach their child to read.

Read with your child this summer and stop the summer slide. Better yet, if you are able, volunteer to read to children in summer camps an hour or two a week. It takes a village to raise a child. Here in the Bradenton area, a summer reading program is underway at Just For Girls (66% of illiterates, worldwide, are female). Please join us this summer in working to combat the illiteracy epidemic.

Bank of the Ozarks and Just for Girls are looking for volunteers to help with our summer reading program. Below is a link to The Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Our hope is by spending some time this summer reading with the girls that we can help keep them on track and reading at or above grade level http://gradelevelreading.net/

We need volunteers on the following dates from 9am-10am

  • June 5 th East Bradenton Campus of Just for Girls (1011 21 st St E Bradenton FL 34221)
  • June 12 th West Bradenton Campus of Just for Girls (3809 59 th St W Bradenton FL 34209)
  • June 19 th Palmetto Campus of Just for Girls (1500 10 th St W Palmetto FL 34221)
  • June 26 th East Bradenton Campus of Just for Girls (1011 21 st St E Bradenton FL 34221)
  • July 3 rd West Bradenton Campus of Just for Girls (3809 59 th St W Bradenton FL 34209)
  • July 10 th Palmetto Campus of Just for Girls (1500 10 th St W Palmetto FL 34221)
  • July 17 th East Bradenton Campus of Just for Girls (1011 21 st St E Bradenton FL 34221)
  • July 24 th West Bradenton Campus of Just for Girls (3809 59 th St W Bradenton FL 34209)
  • July 31 st Palmetto Campus of Just for Girls (1500 10 th St W Palmetto FL 34221)

Please RSVP with Sue Abbott at Sabbott@bankozarks.com