PHILADELPHIA, PA − June 20, 2018 − State Senator Vincent Hughes is partnering with the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia READS – a non-profit organization whose mission is to “raise a city of readers” – to put on a summer reading program for students entering first through third grade. The Summer Reads: Read to Succeed program, which is entering its six year, allows students in the Philadelphia area to take intensive reading courses during a time when students typically aren’t learning.
“We have studies that show the loss of learning during the summer period is equal to one month of instruction,” says Senator Hughes highlighting a phenomenon commonly referred to as the “summer slide.” “It amounts to an achievement gap of around 18 months by the end of sixth grade and then two or more years by the end of middle school.”
The Summer Reads: Read to Succeed is an aggressive and intentional four-week reading program that uses 14 of the best reading practices to keep the students minds sharp for the upcoming school year. In summer 2017, the program saw a 90% daily attendance of its 478 participants and zero of the participants experienced learning loss.
Staffed by certified volunteer teachers, the program focuses on providing a safe, free, educational space that builds student’s motivation for reading in the summer.
“It is important for children to develop a love for reading early in their lives. Studies have shown that children who read for fun tend to do better in school than those who do not,” said Sen. Hughes.
The program will run from June 25 to July 19 at the following schools:
- Alain Locke
- F.S. Edmonds
- James Dobson
- John McCloskey
- Laura Wheeler Waring
- Mary McLeod Bethune
- Overbrook Educational Center
- Richard Wright
- Samuel Gompers
- Thomas Mifflin
In addition to the reading program, students will be served free breakfast and lunch and also have access to critical services that are vital for academic success. Every participant will receive a free eye exam courtesy of Wills Eye Hospital and two pairs of free glasses. Families will also be connected with any relevant social services that may be identified as necessary by program volunteers and staff.
The summer reading program is co-sponsored by Senator Shariff Street, Senator Art Haywood, and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. The senators and councilman are hosting the Read to Succeed sites in their respective districts.
Other Read to Succeed partners include The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Works, Neubauer Foundation, Wells Fargo, Children’s Literacy Initiative, The Free Library of Philadelphia, and Urban Affairs Coalition.
Read to Succeed is open to children in school district, charter, private, and parochial schools who will be attending first through third grade in September.