Letter from the Library Director:

Fight the Summer Slide @ Your Library

Even though summertime provides a fun break for kids, there is also a negative side to the time off school: the summer slide. The summer slide is a term that refers to the learning loss children experience over the months spent outside of the classroom.

Though it’s easy to write this loss off, it is actually quite substantial. In fact, children lose an average of 2.5 months of learning in just one month of summer break. This adds up quickly and can compound as the years go by. Teachers are forced to spend 17% of the new school year re-teaching material each fall.

So, what’s a parent to do? How about registering for SJCPLS’ Summer Reading Program? Every year, thousands of people of all ages participate in SJCPLS’ The Best Summer Ever reading program! This year’s program runs from June 5 through July 29. Readers of all ages may pick up their free reading logs and Bingo boards from any library branch, track their progress, and play virtually through the READSquared app. Participants may earn free books for every six days read on their logs, 60 points reached on READSquared, or for every row completed on the Bingo boards. 

Studies show that reading as few as four or five books over the summer can have a positive impact similar to that of summer-school enrollment. Make it a point to read for at least 20 minutes a day. Try reading aloud to your child each day during the summer. Try exploring different genres with your children to find something they will want to read and enjoy. Summer is a great time for discovery and exploration. 

This summer, SJCPLS offers over 100 unique, fun, and educational programs throughout the Library system for teens, adults, and families, in addition to our regularly scheduled storytimes, book clubs, and STEM programs

Turn the summer slide into family fun and learning. With six branch libraries throughout St. Johns County and a traveling bookmobile, no one has to take a break from learning this summer! I hope you’ll stop in, check out some materials to share, and participate in one or all of our summer programs.

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System