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Prepare for Summer Reading

Ready, Set, READ!
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Now is the perfect time to start thinking about Summer Reading for your students to nurture reading for enjoyment, battle the summer slide, and establishing lifelong good habits. Yet, reading for enjoyment is often not first on the list of fun activities for our students who struggle with literacy. How do we, as educators, make sure our students have the opportunity to select reading as a choice?

Establishing a reading environment, for summer reading, is most important and planning ahead helps to prepare our students to have the opportunity to:

  • Increase listening comprehension skills
  • Prevents loss of reading skills
  • Support vocabulary growth
  • Enjoy a couple good books

Let’s get them ready, set and reading now!

Get Ready:

How do we prepare students with print disabilities for summer reading success? As educators, we should consider the following:

  • Matching “just right” books to the reader
  • Accessing books
  • Student and parent training

AIM-VA can help educators get ready for summer reading. First, it’s important to note that “…the number of books read during the summer is consistently related to achievement gains.”1 AIM-VA has a variety of popular summer reading books in our retroactive library, and can produce instructional materials requested by Virginia public educators if and when you can’t find what you are looking for. Just remember, if you don’t have a copy of the book in reserve as required for ordering, you can always borrow one, buy one, ask your school librarian or even check out your local library. You only need it during the summer session while your students are reading the accessible version!

Now, consider selecting several books to entice the reader with a variety of choices. Choose from favorite authors such as Henry Winkler’s and Lin Oliver’s, Here’s Hank series. Consider connecting a book with a movie; Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Wonder have all been made into award winning movies. AIM-VA’s library also has a variety of high interest-low vocabulary (HI-LO) books such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Crossover and The Hunger Games. Please reach out to us if you need help or suggestions with ordering those “just-right” books for students with print disabilities.

Get Set

  • Identify home technology
  • Provide support and training to students and parents

How can we encourage our reluctant readers to want to pick up a book and enjoy reading this summer? Can we provide effective scaffolding to make reading a pleasurable experience this summer? How will students access these interesting, “just-right” books on their home device? Consider the technology that will be used at home to support their reading experience. Are they using the same device at home that they use at school during the school year? As educators we need train students and their parents on how to access books at home, as well as, provide guidance to set up a reading summer plan. The summer reading plan may include ideas such as designating a time and place to read, reading together as a family, and discussing the progression of the story after reading each day.

Read!

VDOE states:

“Research shows that children who read for pleasure in the summer do better and forget less when they go back to school. And it's not just in reading. Kids who don't read over the summer can slide backward in all subject areas…”.

By providing a number of accessible high interest books and supporting parents and students before summer begins, places students with print disabilities on the right path to avoid the summer slide. Please reach out to AIM-VA if you need more information regarding summer books or reading technology support. Let us help!


1Kim, J. S. (2006). Effects of a voluntary summer reading intervention on reading achievement: Results from a randomized field trial. Educational