PONCA CITY, OKLA. – The Ponca City Public School System is committed to promoting literacy in schools and throughout the community. For the past two years, the district has purchased five new books for every PreK through 2nd grade student in the district. The goal of this literacy initiative entitled “Got Books” is to build students’ personal home libraries and to encourage reading over the summer months.

Every summer, students who do not read regularly typically lose between two to three months in regard to their reading level, while those who do read make gains in reading comprehension and gain vocabulary development through wide reading.

Students work hard all school year to make gains in their reading proficiency often to lose the gains they made over the summer months. This is often referred to as the “Summer Slump” or the “Summer Slide.”

With parental support and guidance, students can maintain grade level reading status and even experience growth. To ensure your child stays on track and does not experience the “summer slump,” set a goal for your child to read at least 3-5 days each week throughout the summer months. Try the strategies listed below to help your child improve his/her reading during summer and beyond. The district’s hope is that the families of students will make a commitment this summer to read every day.

Reading tips include: When your child reads, listen patiently. New readers often read slowly. Offer help when your child gets stuck, and always give lots of praise and encouragement. When you read, use expression and stop occasionally to predict what might happen next or discuss interesting parts of the book. Do not worry about reading the same book over and over. As long as your child is engaged, that is what really matters. Set a routine reading time that is consistent each day like right before your child goes to sleep or right after they eat lunch.  Most importantly, build a reading relationship with your child. Enjoy your reading time together! It should be nurturing, fun, and something to look forward to each day.

It is hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. These suggestions will fit into a busy schedule and make reading fun! Parents really can make all the difference in regard to combating the “Summer Slump.” Commit to reading over the summer and place your child at the head of the class when school resumes in the fall.

Pictured – Single Boy at his locker:  Gage Putman
Two Girls at the Locker:  Harper Fraser and Shia Van Natta

Three children at the table:  Emily Chavez, Landen Smith and Taytan Gattenby.