Philly students get free books to help maintain reading skills during summer break

Mike DeNardo
June 02, 2019 - 4:00 am
The last day of classes for Philadelphia school students is Tuesday, June 4. The district is sending kids home with bags of books, so they can maintain their reading techniques during the summer. 

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The last day of classes for Philadelphia school students is Tuesday, June 4. The district is sending kids home with bags of books, so they can maintain their reading techniques during the summer. 

Reading specialist Kristen Campbell is encouraging her kindergarten students at Sheppard Elementary in West Kensington to make sure that their reading skills aren't left at the schoolhouse door for the summer.  

The School District of Philadelphia is giving 21,000 kindergarten and first-graders ten free books before the last day of school. Second-year Shepppard principal Elana Galli says it's critical that students keep reading even during summer vacation.

"If they're not continuing and practicing, they can slide back a couple of reading levels," Galli said. "And then we need to make up for that time in the fall."


      
Galli says parents need to make sure their kids don't experience a regression known as the "summer slide" that schools have to address in the fall.

"We're always sending literature home all throughout the year, and showing parents how to read with their students at home," she said. "So summer is the most important time because we're not there to support."

Districtwide, 45 percent of kindergarten through second graders were reading on grade level last year. One of Superintendent William Hite's goals is to have all eight-year-olds reading at or above grade level.