OUR VIEW: Hey kids, what’s your four? – News – Wicked Local Kingston

The body needs rest, and on occasion the mind needs rest. However, we shouldn’t take it too far.

Summer is the season to relax, kick back and enjoy the sunny and often-humid weather. Your thing could be hanging out at the beach, frolicking at a local park, taking a much-needed vacation or simply chilling out at home.

The body needs rest, and on occasion the mind needs rest. However, we shouldn’t take it too far.

This is a message specifically for students.

Over the summer vacation, students who fail to read a book or two could slip a few notches, and when school restarts in the fall, their teachers may have to spend the first few weeks reteaching what was already taught, especially for students who were already struggling.

Elementary students’ performance can fall by about a month during the summer, according to a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, and the decline is far worse for lower-income students. A 2007 study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that summer slide causes 80 percent of the reading achievement gap between students of higher and lower economic status.

Most disturbing, it appears that summer learning loss is cumulative.

This problem impacts all of our wallets. A Forbes Magazine article pegs the cost to reteach the forgotten material at more than $1,500 per student each year, or more than $18,000 over the course of a K-12 career.

While many districts offer summer enrichment programs to help combat the problem, one of the best resources is the town library. Just about all local libraries have summer reading programs complete with special themes, and prizes for finishing a certain number of books.

Matt Perry, outreach coordinator for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, recently told us that research shows students who read four or more books over the summer perform better on reading comprehension tests when they return to school in the fall. That prompted the Board of Library Commissioners to launch the…

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