Public library takes center stage for summer learning in Liberal

When the final school bell rings signaling the start of summer vacation, too often it also marks the beginning of a loss of learning. According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose two months of mathematical skills every summer and low-income children lose another two-to-three months in reading. In some circles, this is known as the “summer slide.” But, the Kansas Health Foundation, and partners across the state, are looking for ways to turn the “summer slide” into “summer strides.”

That’s why this summer, the Kansas Health Foundation is partnering with 10 Kansas public libraries to sponsor summer reading and enrichment programs for children. One such program at the Liberal Memorial Library is even offering a dual-language learning opportunity, so both English and Spanish speaking students can thrive throughout the summer months.

“With the help of this program, we believe when students come back to school in August, they’ll be ready to learn,” said Kendra Haskell, principal at Prairie View Elementary School in Liberal.

Public libraries are the perfect venue for parents and caregivers to help foster a love of reading in their children. It’s a message KHF has been spreading through its public awareness campaign, “Can’t Wait to Read.” Everyone is encouraged to visit www.readwiththem.org to learn more about the campaign and simple tips for engaging with Kansas kids.

As far as the library in Liberal is concerned, one local parent is thrilled with the summer program offerings.

“I know at the beginning when we talk about the reading program, it always seems like a task, like ‘Mom, school’s out, why do we have to read?’,” said Veronica Nevarez, a parent of three. “But, later down the road, I know they’re going to benefit from it.”

To learn more, please view this month’s Health Happenings eNews video above.

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Every month, our electronic newsletter, Health Happenings, features a story about a focus area, grant, partnership or program involving the Foundation.