May 5, 2016 - Tackle Kindergarten Preparedness and Summer Slide

May 5, 2016



Tackle Kindergarten Preparedness and Summer Slide


BENTON, KY – By now, most parents have heard of summer slide, the phrase used to describe the loss of knowledge and skills that happens to students over summer break. According to Reading is Fundamental, literacy skills are particularly important since children who lose reading ability over the summer rarely catch up, which can result in a total of three years lost by the end of fifth grade.

“The importance of early literacy skills cannot be overstated,” says Beth Kerrick, Children’s Librarian for the Marshall County Public Library @Benton. “The ability to read and comprehend what has been read is one of the basic foundations for higher learning. Studies have found, over and over again, that if those skills are not learned early in life, then the chances are they never will be.”

Kerrick says the importance of early literacy and lifelong learning is one of the reasons the library puts so much time and effort into their summer reading programs. The Children’s Summer Reading Program is for students currently enrolled in grades K-6, while the Teen Summer Reading Program is for those currently enrolled in grades 7-12. Both programs offer a reading challenge as well as programs, activities, and events throughout the summer.

“For the school age kids, we’re going to be hosting scientists, magicians, fitness shows, and a whole lot of other fun and educational programs. Ms. Ashley has planned some great activities for the teens as well, and of course there is the big teen event at the end of the summer. It’s actually a bit overwhelming to look at the schedule of everything we have planned. There is a lot going on, and best of all, it’s all free,” says Kerrick.

Sign-ups for the Summer Reading Program begins on May 23, the same day the library will be kicking off a new early literacy initiative for pre-schoolers.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is for children aged birth to five years. To participate, parents need to register at their local branch of the Marshall County Public Library and then keep a log of the books they read to their children. Every book read counts. Even if a child wants to hear the same book again and again, it can be counted each time. The library will be giving rewards such as stickers, bookmarks, free books, bags, and t-shirts as different milestones are reached.

Kerrick, who has two children under the age of three, knows that the idea of reading 1,000 books seems daunting, but she’s confident any parent can achieve it, no matter their hectic schedule. “If you read just one book a night, you’ll meet your goal in less than three years. If you read three books a night, you could reach your goal in just one year. If you need help finding something new to read, ask any member of our staff. We’re all here to help families reach their goal.”

For more information on the Summer Reading Program; 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten; or any of the other programs at the library, visit your local branch or visit