PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2020 

Seven Democrats debate in South Carolina. And helping kelp forests off the West coast.

2020Talks - February 25, 2020 

Tonight's the last debate before the South Carolina primaries, but it's also the last before Super Tuesday, which includes California and its 494 delegates.

Prevent Summer "Brain Drain" - Encourage VA Kids to Pick Up a Book

June 13, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. - School is almost out for the summer, but educators in Virginia say that's no reason for children to put away all their books. There's a place they can go that's free, air-conditioned and educational, and just about every community has one: The public library.

Students who don't read during the summer can lose months of learning progress, says Dr. Kitty Boitnott, president of the Virginia Education Association and a career librarian. She says the children then must spend months playing catch-up when they go back to school in September.

"Kids need to be reading as opposed to watching TV or playing computer games all the time. It's something that I just can't stress enough for parents who want their kids to be successful in school and want to keep them on track."

Not all families are able to go away on summer vacations or send children to camp, Boitnott says, but that's no reason to stay at home. Public libraries are free and welcoming places for kids of all ages - and they're typically underutilized, especially in lower-income areas.

"There are always wonderful activities going on. The public libraries make it their business to come up with really wonderful programs that incentivize reading. They give prizes."

Studies show that reading five books during the summer break can prevent learning loss, and children who don't read over the summer can lose two to three months of progress in reading achievement.

A list of public libraries in Virginia is online at

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA