Scroll down to see videos for Middle School and High School students.
High School Titles:
Check out these presentations for a sneak peak at some of the high school books!
The goal of the summer reading program is to provide students with the opportunity to have a positive experience with reading. A key component of the program is student choice. Unlike the books that are assigned to students during the school year, the summer reading books will be chosen by the students. Students are encouraged to choose books that appeal to them and suit their own personal interests, increasing the likelihood that they will genuinely enjoy their reading experience. Furthermore, summer reading represents the kind of reading students will do for the rest of their lives – so why not begin now?
Did you know?
Research has consistently shown that students who do not read over the summer experience what is called “summer learning loss.” Of greater concern is the fact that this loss has a cumulative effect, “creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students.”
(see http://www.reading.org/General/ Publications/ReadingToday/RTY-0804-summer.aspx).
• All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
(White, 1906; Entwisle & Alexander, 1992; Cooper et al., 1996; Downey et al., 2004).
• Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper et al., 1996).
• About two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al., 2007).
• Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity— gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (von Hippel et al., 2007).
• Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al., 2004).
James Kim, assistant professor of education at Harvard University, looked at different approaches to summer reading and found that voluntary summer reading programs can work—but they work best when adults and teachers get involved by helping students to choose appropriate books and employ simple techniques to improve skill and understanding. Providing books with no guidance may not help much at all. But when children get help choosing skill-appropriate books and read those books over the summer break, both independently and with guidance from family members, reading achievement scores can improve significantly.
The NationalCenter for Summer Learning at JohnsHopkinsUniversity spoke with Kim about what we can learn from summer reading studies and how we can use that information to help young people retain or improve reading skills.
You’ve done several studies on children and reading over the summertime. What have you learned?
We’ve learned that if you’re trying to improve children’s reading abilities, you have to provide books that match the child’s reading level and interest and you have to know how to monitor comprehension.
So it’s not enough to just give a child a book and expect him or her to read it?
Access to reading materials is crucial, of course, but according to our research, that’s not enough, especially in the early elementary school years. Many people are aware that children lose reading skills over the summer and that low-income children fall behind, compared to their more advantaged classmates. We also know that kids who read a lot over the summertime sustain reading comprehension and vocabulary. Consequently, some people conclude that, in order to increase reading skills, we need to increase access to books—but the research indicates it’s not that simple. In fact, in one study, when we gave books to kids but did nothing else, they did no better than the kids who did nothing
over the summer. There was no difference.
But doesn’t it make sense that if reading over the summertime is a good thing, and we want children to read, we need to give them books?
Our research indicates that it’s about more than access, especially with younger kids who are still learning to read. Reading is most effective when parents or family members can provide reading guidance and make sure that kids understand what they’re reading. Reading can be both a solitary activity and a social activity that fosters learning and recreation.
How can a parent, teacher, or other older adult figure out whether a child understands what he or she is reading?
There are different methods, but some of the most effective are relatively simple: Ask questions about the story and allow the child to ask questions; summarize or ask the child to summarize; and reread hard-to-understand passages. Essentially, make reading more of an interactive process in order to boost fluency and comprehension. All good readers use those techniques, but fourth graders, for example, don’t know how to do that on their own. Teachers and adults need to be explicit.
See high school slideshow from 2009. . . Click here
See middle school slideshow from 2009. . .Click here