Gov. Sam Brownback and First Lady Mary Brownback led a statewide celebration today, to call attention to the importance of reading and learning during the summer months.
Libraries across the state participated in National Summer Learning Day, July 14, by hosting events in cooperation with the Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR), the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Kansas State Library.
At the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, the Governor encouraged about 130 students from Santa Fe Trail Elementary and Council Grove Elementary to continue improving their reading schools during the summer.
“You’ve got to keep up those reading skills over the summer so that you’re ready to go when schools starts back up,” the Governor told the children, who engaged in vocabulary building and craft activities, sang songs and learned about libraries. “If you keep working at it, it will help you succeed in the things you want to do later in life.”
KRR is a contracted partner of DCF that offers a poverty-prevention program to help struggling readers of low-income families. It’s partially funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). KRR is offered in dozens of Kansas school districts during the school year, but also provides a summer camp at more than 50 locations across the state, to prevent summer learning loss, often known as “summer slide”. Summer Learning Day is an opportunity for KRR and Kansas public libraries to share with families the many opportunities to encourage learning during the summer break from school, when lessons may be otherwise lost.
Research shows that summer learning loss, which affects all students to varying degrees, has a disproportionately high effect on youth from low-income families.
“We are so pleased by the results we’ve seen from KRR the past few years, and summer learning is a big part of helping kids read at grade level by fourth grade,” said Governor Brownback. “The KRR and library programs are so important to helping kids not lose the gains they make during the school year.”
Since its inception in 2014, KRR has grown to 53 programs across the state, which serve more than 10,000 students. More than 2,500 students are participating in the KRR’s summer program, a six-week, six-hour a day program that includes reading, math and science.
According to an independent University of Kansas evaluation, the 22 Kansas Reading Roadmap schools demonstrated a 19 percent improvement in children reading at benchmark (grade level) and a 37 percent reduction in children at-risk for special education.
First Lady Mary Brownback and Kansas Reading
Roadmap staff lead activities at Summer Learning Day, July 14, Topeka &
Shawnee County Public Library.
Governor Brownback and Council Grove
Elementary third grader, David Pollock pose for a picture with matching
outfits, at Summer Learning Day, July 14, Topeka & Shawnee County Public