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Programs prevent 'summer slide'

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"Summer slide" may sound fun and refreshing, but the phrase -- referring to the educational ground kids can lose during the summer -- makes teachers and administrators shudder.

There are ways to stop "summer slide," though, and reading is one of them. Research shows that reading 200 pages per week -- only 29 pages per day -- increases student achievement and promotes cognitive growth. Kids that spend just 30 minutes a day over the summer reading, and then discussing what they've read, are better prepared when school resumes.

A four-part program series now in progress at Worthington Libraries arms parents with tools and low-cost ways they can keep their kids' minds active this summer by encouraging reading at home.

Parents and their 6- to 8-year-olds are invited to Destination Read where, during each session, they can participate in themed literacy activities based on The Daily Five, which is used in Worthington Schools and helps students learn the daily habits of reading, writing and working independently.

Destination Read "takes" participants camping and around the world. After getting their passport (which is stamped for each session attended), kids can spend time selecting the perfect book and reading it to their parents, using LEGOs to build words or sentences, writing stories using dice and Mad Libs and much more.

Parents also receive handouts full of fun, themed literacy activities to try at home, including Rainbow Words, Brain Feelers, Word Bakery and Salty Spelling.

Each library location will host Destination Read before school resumes in August. The drop-in series has concluded at Worthington Park Library, 1389 Worthington Centre Drive, but Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, has one more installment planned on July 14 (the zoo) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Kids can attend the full series at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., on July 16 (the beach), July 23 (around the world), July 30 (camping) and Aug. 6 (the zoo). Each program is scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.

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