It's that time of year again. The time when I'm thrilled that my kids are thrilled to sign up for Milwaukee Public Library's Super Reader summer reading program.
This year's program kicked off on Monday, May 18 and runs through Aug. 29 (MPS is back in session on Tuesday, Sept. 1). Kids 0-12 can visit any MPL branch and sign up for free. They'll get a Super Reader yard sign or window cling and a sheet to track their reading over the summer.
Each time they complete a level, they can head back to the library and get a prize. At the end of summer they'll get more goodies, like free books, food coupons and admission to area attractions.
Teens 13-18 can take part in the summer "Put Your Face in a Book" program.
Each May, my kids can't wait to sign up.
One morning at breakfast, they shaded in the progress circles based on the previous day's reading and were proud of their early progress. Later, one of them said, "I think I'm becoming a book person."
Music to a parent's ears.
The National Summer Learning Association says that the "summer slide" – the brain drain that comes from kids' absence from the classroom – affects their progress and also negatively affects the achievement gap.
"Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months," according the NSLA's web site. "Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
"More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities."
"Last year nearly 21,000 children participated," said Mayor Tom Barrett in a statement this week. "We want more. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s really important. I encourage parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers to bring the children in their lives to a Milwaukee Public Library to sign-up and to give them the support and encouragement they need to read 15 minutes a day."
This year, the goal is to enroll 25,000 Milwaukee kids. Kids that I hope will read for way more than 15 minutes each day, frankly.
Let your kids see you read for pleasure and create life-long readers and life-long learners. Buy them books. Read to them and with them. If books are too expensive at bookshops, go to a resale shop, pick some up at a rummage sale ('tis the season) or from a Little Free Library. Kids will treasure their own little library at home.
Before school ends, ask your school principal or librarian (if there is one and I sure hope there is) for resources for obtaining books to keep your kids learning over the summer. If you're a teacher or principal, contact Half-Price Books, which is often eager to donate books to local schools (I speak from experience here).
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Oct. 2, 2015
With such a burgeoning dining scene, it can sometimes take some effort to keep up, much less think back about how Milwaukee has become such a diners' delight. But OnMilwaukee's own dining guru, Lori Fredrich, has made it easy. Fredrich has written the first real in-depth book about Milwaukee's exciting dining scene and how it got that way.
Published Oct. 2, 2015
Milwaukee is a city rife with associations, from beer to brats, Hogs to "Happy Days." But for devoted fans of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Milwaukee means only one thing: the bomb scare show - that Thursday night in October 1975 when the band's Cream City concert was halted by a bomb threat and resumed three hours later, resulting in a high-energy show unlike any other the band would ever perform. Are you loose?!
Published Sept. 29, 2015
With a string of three shows by unrivaled country megastar Garth Brooks on tap at the BMO Harris Bradley Center last week, the postponement of an anticipated 50th anniversary tour concert by The Who at the venue, and the drive to build a replacement for the BC clearing its final hurdle, it seemed like the perfect time to sit down with the Bradley Center's Director of Booking Doug Johnson to talk about the past, present and future.
Published Sept. 25, 2015
Our first stop on a long road trip east? A 15-minute drive to Bay View to board the Lake Express Ferry. The two-and-half-hour trip not only saved us navigating Chicago on a Friday morning, but was also great fun in itself. And there's definitely something to be said for arriving in Michigan ready to go with a full tank of gas.
Published Sept. 22, 2015
Milwaukee's City Plan Commission yesterday approved architects' Engberg Anderson's plan to rehab and add onto the former First German Methodist Church - later dubbed Building 23 after Pabst purchased it - at 1037 W. Juneau Ave. That means the project can now officially move forward.
Published Sept. 21, 2015
Though Kenny Baldwin was a drummer with local bands like Colour Radio and Locate Your Lips, he was most influential behind the scenes at his family's club, The Starship, and for his many years of production work at Summerfest. Beloved by everyone who knew him, Baldwin lost a long battle with cancer on Friday.
Published Sept. 18, 2015
We've all seen the Milwaukee neighborhood posters. Decades after their first appearance, these images endure. These iconic 1980s posters were created by then-city employee Jan Kotowicz and featured a long essay by historian John Gurda on the reverse. The posters have now also served as an anchor for a weighty new tome published by Historic Milwaukee Inc. The 472-page book, "Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods," was written by Gurda and includes 11 new poster images created by the now-retired Kotowicz.
Published Sept. 17, 2015
When Milwaukee artist Ariana Huggett started to leak out images of the paintings for her upcoming show, "Old Schools" - on view Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19-20, in conjunction with Doors Open Milwaukee, at the Material Studios + Gallery in the Third Ward - a lot of folks took notice.
Published Sept. 16, 2015
Last night, Milwaukee Public Library upped the number of Wisconsin Writers Wall of Fame inductees when it added Increase Lapham to the Badger State pantheon.
Published Sept. 16, 2015
Though the newly buffed Streets of Old Milwaukee won't open to the public until Dec. 11 - work is currently on schedule, according to museum staff - I got a peek inside this week, along with MPM's Director of Exhibits Julian Jackson.