Help students improve skills through reading during the summer months. Summer is an opportunity for families to build on the social, emotional and academic gains that their children have made during the school year. Most students, even those “at-risk,” make progress during the school year. Summer is the time they fall behind. Michigan’s public libraries provide free, voluntary reading programs throughout the summer for families, children and teens. The programs encourage reading through contests and prizes; through onsite and online activities that engage children through their personal lives and interests; and by hosting special performances to motivate children in their communities. Libraries encourage parents to develop family literacy behaviors and provide developmentally appropriate programs for a wide range of ages to create a culture of fluent reading. In many areas, libraries participate with local social service agencies to bring these enrichment programs to underserved and disadvantaged children. Your local public library can help your students maintain and even improve their reading skills over the summer with the 2013 campaign. For more information, contact your local public library or go to ww.michigan.gov/youthlibraryservices.
While summer school provides some academic support, there are activities that students can engage in that will maximize their growth and help them start the next school year, having made growth over the summer.
Art Games: Students can design their own abstract paintings, learn about pioneering artists and discover painting techniques. www.kids.albrightknow.org/loader.html
Marvel Kids Comic Creator: Students can create their own comic book. Students can choose from a host of heroes and villains and design paneled comic strips or books. While this reinforces artistic skill, students experiment with storytelling, writing humor and crafting dialogue. http:marvelkids.marvel.com.games/play/75/create_your_own_comic
Wonderopolis: Children are naturally curious. They have questions. Each day, Wonderopolis explains a new “wonder” of daily life: why zebras have stripes, etc. National Center for family Literacy. http://wonderopolis.org
Literacy and Language Arts: Word Mover is an application that allows students to create their own poetry based on the work of famous poets.
Nature and Science: iWASWondering: Inspired by the biography series Women’s Adventures in Science and sponsored by the National Academy of Science, this resource outlines achievements by women in science and provides a timeline , brief biographic info and interactive games such as the virtual telescope, Astroscope. http://iWASWondering.org
National Geographic Education: http://education.nationalgeographic.com.
Young children: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids
Science Netlinks: Games, podcasts and hands on activities: http://sciencenetlinks.com/tools
Oxford Owl: Offered by Oxford University Press, there are resources, games and texts for children up to age 11 and math for children 3-7 years old. There are free ebooks and book construction activities along with games for comprehension assessment and memory. www.oxdfordowl.comco.uk
PBS Kids: PBS Kids offers an array of fun ways to engage kids, including videos from shows and ability to create comic strips, test drive a space flyer and experiments in Inventor’s Workshop. http://pbskids.org
USA.gov Kids: Lots of activities for practice in cryptology and code breaking as well as exploration of the 50 states and much more. http://kids.usa.gov
Enjoy the summer and continue the learning.