A kindergartener who has just emerged as a reader is excited to take a book off a shelf and see words come to life. This child may not yet be on reading level for his or her age, but has made great strides over the course of a kindergarten year in decoding sentences and recognizing punctuation and putting words to pictures. Then school ends, and the child is not in class for 10 weeks. The so called “summer slide” takes place, and the young student forgets much of what is learned in class. There is not a lot happening for this child over the summer – parents are working hard, and often the television is the only form of entertainment in the summer household. First grade begins, and the student starts almost all over again – reading strategies and decoding must begin from the very start. The child is happy to return to the classroom, but at the same time feels frustrated and notices the other students reading out loud — fluently in their own level. Loss of confidence starts to kick-in. … (written by Shelly Colley, director of Foundation in a grant application to Kids’ Club)
To counter this loss, Kids’ Club, along with the Foundation for Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, is helping to fund a summer literacy program for at risk, rising first graders. Fifteen students are enrolled in this program, which takes place at John Paulding for four hours per week under the guidance of TUFSD kindergarten teachers, Merry Thomas and Janese Flecha. We hope our support will help stop much of this “summer slide,” and make the transition to first grade much easier for these young learners.