Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There’s a lot going on in the summer for kids. Vacations, swimming and playing ball. Barbecues, picnics and family events. And best of all, summer usually means no school.
But, in those two months or so, a student can take a step back academically.
According to an April 2013 survey by Reading Is Fundamental, about 50 percent of parents polled said their child either watches television or plays video games more than they read. A recent report by the National Endowment for the Arts said fewer 9-,13- and 17-year-olds are reading for fun. That same report said reading scores have decreased over the past few years.
Studies have also shown that children’s reading and comprehension skills diminish during the summer months. And those losses can add up, meaning by the time a student reaches middle school they could be as far as two years behind where they should be in reading ability.
But those same studies show those who read outside of school fare much better in maintaining those skills. So, some are now hoping summer also means kids are reading.
The Lockport City School District is promoting its annual summer reading program, an initiative for kids in fifth through 12th grade that awards them credit in English for reading books over the summer. And to help stir interest, there are two incentives for kids who chose to read.
First, completing a book project awards the student one point on their first quarter English average, while finishing a second project gives them two additional points. Students can start the school year with up to three extra points on their first quarter English grade.
The other incentive is tastier. Those who participate receive a free vanilla ice cream from Frey’s Tasty Treat on South Transit Road.
“We are more than happy to do it for the kids,” said Owner John Frey.