Local school works to boost summer reading for students

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News 12 This Morning / Wednesday May 14, 2014

(WRDW) -- Summer break is approaching and many families are looking for ways to keep their students in learning mode over the break.

Studies are showing that just a little summer reading can help academically boost students for years to come and one local school is using a book fair to try to boost summer reading.

"I love it! I just love reading so much!" 9-year-old Jade Brown said.

Jade, a 3rd grade student at Millbrook Elementary, is talking about the book fair at her school.

It comes around twice a year right before the winter and summer breaks.

"Whenever I'm at home reading, it's kind of like I am still at school but just...it's built different," said Jade.

A U.S. Department of Education study found that reading just five books over the summer can prevent summer learning loss, which is why media specialist Michelle Goings keeps organizing these book fairs.

"With the summer break being close to two months now, it's a good opportunity to get some summer reading [and] some good quality books in their hands," Goings said.

Goings has stocked the book fair with reading levels from Pre-K all the way to 6th grade.

"The books cost varying prices," Goings said. "We have some as cheap as a dollar and then others, like hard cover books, are of course more expensive."

All proceeds go toward their library, which Goings says is a big help because students use the library as a resource when prepping for reading comprehension testing.

"Books that are library bound are very expensive books," she explained. "On average [each book is] about $20 a piece," she said.

Of the books they don't sell, they get to keep a portion for their library, which is good news for Jade who tells me she's planning on spending some of her summer break staying sharp and getting ready for 4th grade.

"There are math books and I think that if you read math books and other school type books, then it will help you," she said.

A different study by the Annie E. Casey foundation found that children who don't ready proficiently by 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than children who do read proficiently by 3rd grade. The same study found that summer learning loss accumulates by each year, so ever summer counts.

Goings says she's hoping to raise $1,500 at this book fair, which could equal about 75 more books.

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