With students released for the summer, was sending them off with a summer reading list really the best way to promote independent reading?

Since research indicates that attention spans are waning for learners of all ages, teachers must do more to keep students interested in reading over the summer and prevent the summer slide.

In “Summer Reading 501: Helping Generation App Read This Summer,” Michelle Luhtala, library department chair, New Canaan High School, CT; and Jane Lofton, teacher librarian, presented creative ideas to get students excited about summer reading. For example:

1. Read Alouds

Partnering with the public library on certain initiatives, like having weekly read alouds, is a great way to keep students involved in reading over the summer. During a read aloud, teachers can sign up to read a book of their choice at the public library. Families can even join too.

Lofton advocated for having this sort of program for not just younger kids, but also older kids. “Middle school kids love to be read to too, I think we stopped doing that way too soon,” she said.

In addition to meeting at the public library, school libraries may be able to stay open a few days a week in the summer. Lofton recommended keeping the library open during hours that the public library isn’t available, so students always have access to books.

(Next page: More tips for getting Gen Z to read over the summer)


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