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President Trump forces California out of vehicle emissions standards; and death penalty opponents argue for clemency in a pending execution.

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Kids Missing Something This Summer?

GRAPHIC: Idaho students risk losing reading skills progress when they don't read over the summer. Courtesy of Idaho KIDS COUNT
GRAPHIC: Idaho students risk losing reading skills progress when they don't read over the summer. Courtesy of Idaho KIDS COUNT
June 11, 2013

BOISE, Idaho - Idaho schoolchildren tend to lose something every summer . . . Up to three months of reading skills, according to Idaho Kids Count. It's a loss that can be prevented, and according to Staci Shaw, projects coordinator for the Read to Me project at the Idaho Commission for Libraries, local libraries are standing by to help. They all offer summer reading programs, and it doesn't take much to keep kids on track so they don't go back to class 12 weeks behind.

"So when you think about that, that's like a third of the school year," Shaw pointed out. "We know that kids who read four to six books over the summer can help maintain those gains that they made."

Feeding the tummy while feeding the mind lends to an ideal learning environment, with Shaw pointing out a new "win-win" summer offering for low-income Idaho pupils.

"The libraries are working with the sites that are on the routes for the Food Bank," she said. "So, once a week, there will be a library representative doing a story time. We also are taking around boxes of books called Little Free Libraries."

Shaw said the erosion of reading skills during the summer months is one of the causes of gaps in pupils' reading levels. Conversely, children who read many books can boost their reading level during the break. She added that it's possible to participate in the summer programs without even setting foot into the library, because the libraries offer e-books in both print and audio versions.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID