How to prevent "brain drain"
Don't Take a Vacation from Reading
Extensive research has proven, time and again, that summer reading is undoubtedly the most important factor in preventing what is commonly called “summer brain drain” or summer learning loss; i.e., the failure to retain academic concepts from one school year to the next. Students who do not read during the summer months suffer measurable losses in their reading skills; by the time these students reach middle school they lag far behind their peers who do read—sometimes years behind!
Reading during the summer months is one proven way to ensure your child’s future academic success. While you might find it difficult to build in a nightly story time session with your children, there are many ways to make literacy an important part of your summer activities.
Help your pre-schoolers identify letters on traffic signs, packages, storefronts, license tags—letters are all around us! Talk about the letter, the sound it makes and share some words that begin with that sound. This is a great activity for car rides or shopping excursions.
Children in the lower grades can read aisle signage and food labels at the grocery store, street signs, road signs, and magazine covers.
Older students can read driving directions while you’re on a trip, compare ingredients at the grocery store, and read menus at a restaurant. Words are everywhere, just waiting for your child to explore with a little help from you!
Summertime and the Reading is Easy
Build your family library at yard sales and second-hand stores and keep a basket or bag of books in your car where your children can reach them. Books are great to have on hand if you’re stuck in traffic, waiting for an appointment, or enjoying an impromptu picnic.
Participate in DeKalb County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, or just visit your local public library. Take a look at DCPL’s website for library programs. Click on the “Kids” tab for events, games, and more.
The DCPL Vacation Reading Program kicks off May 28, 2015. This year's theme is "Every Hero Has a Story." Check the website for information about participation and special programs at your nearest branch.
What are some good books for my child?
DeKalb County Schools has a list of suggested authors for readers at all levels on its website. Click here for suggestions from DeKalb County Schools.
DeKalb County Public Library's website includes suggested titles by reading ability and genre. Click here to access DCPL's list.
The Georgia Department of Education has announced a tremendous opportunity for students—access to over 8,000 digital books through a partnership between Get Georgia Reading and myON Reader. For information and directions for use, read the Press Announcement from the Georgia Department of Education.
Pre-Summer Reading for Parents
For information about summer learning loss and strategies to prevent it, check out these articles, websites and videos:
“Helping to Prevent Summer Reading Loss” by Julie M. Wood. PBS Kids.
“Know the Facts.” National Summer Learning Organization.
“Summer Learning.” Dr. Ron Fairchild, Johns Hopkins University. Reading Rockets.
“Summer Reading Programs Boost Student Achievement, Study Says.” Carole Fiore and Susan Roman. School Library Journal.
“What is Summer Reading Loss?” Joanne Kaminski, Reading Tutor. Reading Rockets.
“Why Summer Reading is So Important.” Earl Phalen, Summer Advantage USA. Reading Rockets.