As children statewide put the school year behind them, state Superintendent Jorea Marple is challenging them to keep learning this summer by reading.
Marple has issued a ReadWV Summer Reading Challenge in an effort to help children improve their reading abilities and to keep their academic skills sharp during the summer break.
"Reading well is one of the most important skills a child can possess," Marple said. "Yet research tells us that young readers who don't continue to read over the summer are likely to lose crucial skills. We cannot allow that to happen."
One way teachers and parents can help students continue to read over the summer is to help them find books tailored to their own interests. The West Virginia Department of Education has created a special website at www.readwv.com with free reading resources, including a free online search tool, dubbed Find a Book, West Virginia, www.lexile.com/fab/wv. Teachers, parents and older students can use this tool to build custom reading lists based on individual interests.
The database also allows students to locate books that best complement each student's reading ability based on Lexile measures. A Lexile measure represents both a child's reading ability and the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. It is derived from the WESTEST2 given to students every year.
Other summer programs also are available that allow children to earn free books or other prizes when they log their reading. They can check out these sites:
Barnes and Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570
n Sylvan: www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx
Pizza Hut: bookitprogram.com/SummerBreak/default.html
Keeping children reading this summer is part of the West Virginia Department of Education's ongoing efforts to encourage regular reading in West Virginia schools and homes through ReadWV. The campaign is designed to encourage children and the adults in their lives to make reading a priority early in life and to ensure that children read every day. By encouraging parents to read with their children, ReadWV strives to increase the literacy of all residents.
"ReadWV reminds us how important it is for all of us to read every day," Marple said. "I hope all West Virginia students participate in the ReadWV Summer Reading Challenge. I encourage everyone to share their photos and tweets with us at #ReadWV and at wvde.state.wv.us/forms/school-snapshots as we help children discover a passion for reading."
More information is available by contacting the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.