Read On Arizona Encourages all Arizonans to Read 20 minutes Per Day to Build Reading Skills and Prevent the “Summer Slide”

Author: Helios Education Foundation

July 1, 2014

Read On Arizona Encourages all Arizonans to Read 20 minutes Per Day to Build Reading Skills and Prevent the “Summer Slide”

The school year has ended, and the long, hot Arizona summer is here. In addition to the challenge of keeping cool, students who do not read consistently over the summer months can lose momentum in improving their reading skills and may not retain the progress they made during the school year; this is known as “summer slide”.

Read On Arizona is committed to ensuring all children in Arizona are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.  Third grade is a critical milestone where students move from learning to read to reading to learn and it provides the foundation for future academic success.   As educators and administrators across the state focus their efforts on improving students’ reading skills, many students show measurable success by the end of the school year. However, once the school year ends and summer begins, students face the challenge of retaining the gains achieved in reading during the previous school year.

In order to combat the “summer slide,”  Read On Arizona recently launched the Arizona Summer Reading Program – a statewide collaboration of schools, public libraries and state and local agencies  – to encourage children and families to read for 20 minutes a day throughout the summer so they’ll increase or maintain their reading levels they worked so hard to achieve. Studies show that the amount of time spent reading makes significant contribution to vocabulary, general knowledge, spelling and verbal fluency.

“Read On Arizona is doing great work in helping families understand the importance of keeping children engaged in literacy activities throughout the summer,”  said  Dr. Karen Ortiz, Vice President and Program Director, Early Childhood Initiatives at Helios Education Foundation.  “In fact, research shows that teachers spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.   Due to the potential lack of access to resources  that support the ongoing development of literacy skills , students from low-income families can experience  a greater learning loss over the summer which can put them farther behind once school resumes.”  In order to make it even easier, Read On Arizona and myON are joining efforts so that children ages three and up will have free and unlimited access to thousands of digital books from April through September 2014.

“Reading over the summer is an important step in building vocabulary. By giving children access to books that capture their interests, children are likely to keep reading and ultimately decrease ‘summer slide’,” said Arizona Literacy Director for Read On Arizona Terri Clark. “Families should encourage a child to read independently or with a family member during the summer. Just 20 minutes a day for any child can make a huge difference!”

Through myON, books are accessible online and offline anytime and anywhere students have access to a device. Users may read the enhanced digital books on computers, tablets, and other devices. Readers can choose from a collection that includes thousands of digital books in a variety of genres and formats. There is no limit to the number of times a user can read a book or the number of people who can read the same book at the same time.

Students can start downloading books using myON immediately at and will have access to this digital library through September 30, 2014. This access is established as a trial basis in which usage records and survey results will be evaluated to determine interest and need for this resource in homes and schools statewide.

Within myON, aggregate data will be captured about the number of books students access and read, the amount of time children spend reading, and  the most popular books read by Arizona children.

Click here to learn more.  

Category: Early Childhood Education

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