The National Summer Learning Association reported that youth lose about two months of grade-level-equivalent math skills during the summer down time. Low-income youth lose more than two months of reading achievements during summer vacation, according to the association.
The association surveyed 500 teachers who reported they spend a portion of a new school year re-teaching skills taught the previous year. Two-thirds of the teachers surveyed indicated it takes at least three or four weeks to re-teach, while 24 percent reported it takes more than five weeks.
Mary A. White Elementary School Principal Valerie Livingston said it’s important that children have access to books because many won’t open one during their vacation.
“Kids from all walks of life can lose ground during the summer,” she said.
Livingston said it can be difficult to get a child to take an interest in reading, so parents might need to become creative with their approach. She suggests having children hunt for words on recipes or find a subject they want to learn more about.
“Give them the opportunity to learn something new and the opportunity to spend a lot of time with books,” Livingston said.
One family not letting their minds take a vacation are the Rymals of Grand Haven. Tia Rymal and her two daughters — Natalie, 4, and Olivia, 2 — visit Loutit District Library each week and load up with two-dozen books or more.
Spring Lake District Library and Loutit District Library both offer young readers chances to win prizes through their summer reading programs. The Grand Haven program ends July 26, while the Spring Lake program runs until Aug. 3.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.