Access to books in the home is key to academic success. Having as few as 20 books in the home has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility We must create ways to put books into all students’ hands during the summer months- and other vacation periods as well. Ensuring that books are available to any child at any time of the year will be a good first step in enhancing the reading achievement of low-income students and an absolutely necessary step in closing the reading achievement gap. -Richard Allington It seems pretty clear that the only way kids can escape the reading death spiral and begin to catch up with their higher-achieving peers is to log lots and lots of hours reading (indeed, far more than they can get through classroom intervention instruction); yes kids MUST read at home too. -Lois Bridges RtI: The Best Intervention is a Good Book The single summer activity that is most strongly and consistently related to summer learning is reading. The unique contribution of reading to summer learning suggests that increasing access to books and encouraging reading may well have a substantial impact on achievement. -Heyns Jeffco Summer Reading Program Our mission…put books into the hands of students so they could create personal libraries and have engaging books to read through out the summer. Planning and Building Momentum • • • • • Every student, ECE-12,and every teacher was given a Book Bag with 8 books: 4 Fiction and 4 Non Fiction books Books were selected by the instructional reading coaches working in the schools. Coaches voted on books based on what they knew about the readers in their schools. Each book bag contained activity sheets and a book mark that allowed students to track their reading progress. During the summer months each family received automated phone calls (English and Spanish) from their school reminding them to read their books. Each teacher previewed one of their grade level’s summer books the last week of school creating excitement about the book bags and the books that would be read over the summer. Maintaining Momentum Outcomes • Every school held at least one family engagement kick-off event prior to the end of school. This event focused on literacy and created excitement for the Summer Take Home Reading Program. • Schools’ family nights highlighted the importance of reading to and with children and showed parents how to engage their children reading. • Especially in year 2, schools got very creative with sustaining the momentum for summer reading. Some used online blogs for students to connect with teachers around the books they were reading. • When students came back to school in the fall they were rewarded for books read and ongoing events such as “Books and Brownies” were held to allow students and families to have book talks. • We provided books for 16,000 students by the end of year 2. This was an increase from 11,000 in year 1. • Students built an at-home library of at least 16 books. Some students had the opportunity to build libraries consisting of up to 40 books over the two years if they were ESL and/or Migrant students. Some identified ESL and Migrant students got up to 3 book bags. • Students were observed out in the community reading during the summer months. • Parent engagement at school increased dramatically beginning in year 1. • Parents reported that barriers were taken down for them- they often struggled to support their students in selecting ‘just right books’ to read, with the take home book bags book selection was already done for them, allowing them to focus on reading. • Culture of reading was built. Centennial ECE-8 Vacation Reading Program The new mission…put books into the hands of students so they can create personal libraries and have engaging books to read during ALL vacation periods. Planning • Every student will receive a book bag prior to each vacation period- Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break and Summer Break. • The book bags will contain a mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts. • For breaks during the school year book bags will be premade bags developed by Scholastic. For the Summer Break bag there will be an element of student/teacher choice. • Students ECE-2 will have their summer book bags developed by their teachers. • Students 3-8 will have a say in the titles selected in their bags through a preview and vote opportunity. • A Family Night will be held before each vacation period as a way to draw families into the school, provide an opportunity for them to learn with their students and a way for us to kick off the vacation reading. • Each Summer book bag will contain activity sheets and a book mark that allows students to track their reading progress. • During the summer months each family will receive automated phone calls (English and Spanish) from the school reminding them to read their books. • Each teacher will preview one of their grade level’s summer books the last week of school creating excitement about the book bags and the books that will be read over the summer. Intended Outcomes • • • • Students build personal libraries at home. Students see themselves as integral in the choice aspect of vacation reading. Parents see their students as readers and feel confident in their role supporting their students to become life-long readers. Centennial develops as a culture of readers.