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Summer Program Encourages Utah Kids to Read

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PHOTO: Education officials are hoping a program now in place will encourage more kids in Utah to read during their summer vacation. Photo courtesy Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
PHOTO: Education officials are hoping a program now in place will encourage more kids in Utah to read during their summer vacation. Photo courtesy Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
June 6, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY - Education officials are hoping a program now in place will encourage more kids in Utah to read during their summer vacation.

Tiffany Hall, K-12 literacy coordinator at the Utah State Office of Education, said the "Utah Reads: Find a Book" program is specially geared to help stop summer learning loss. According to Hall, not reading during the summer break can cause severe loss of reading skills in some students.

"A child can lose anywhere from a month," she said, "to, in very severe cases, almost a year of reading ability."

Hall said the program features a website that will provide a list of recommended books based on the student's age and reading ability. The aim is to help parents know what reading material to get their children from the local library, rather than struggle to learn age-appropriate content.

Hall added that another critical part of getting children to read during the summer is finding books that interest them.

"Students should enjoy it," she said. "It should be at a level they can read comfortably by themselves and feel like a confident reader with. And on a topic that they like."

Hall said research shows that summer reading will help make good readers better and weaker readers stronger.

Learn more about the "Utah Reads: Find a Book" program at the Utah State Office of Education website.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT