Jen Gureckiover 1 year ago
Dear Justin, you pose a rather interesting, yet complex question. In my community, what we are attempting to accomplish is a collaboration between literacy initiatives that spans a child's primary and secondary education experience. I am the ED of Adventure Risk Challenge (www.arcprogram.org) and our 40-day literacy and leadership course addresses summer learning loss and the gap in literacy and outdoor opportunities for underserved youth. AimHigh (www.aimhigh.org) is a new program in our area working underserved middle school youth during the summer, and they will be referring their graduate to our program. Finally, we've got Tahoe Truckee Reads (http://tahoetruckeereads.org) , targeting elementary school youth. What I've found is that when we put books in the hands of the young people we work with, they are amazed at the rewards of reading an entire book on their own time over the summer. They read on their expeditions, in their bunk beds, and between activities. I don't have an answer on how to grow this nationally, but it's important to believe in the potential of young people to enjoy reading. I think we've written that off--there's a common assumption that young people are only interested in small bites found on social media. But that's not true, and as educators we can go against the grain of worksheets and computer games and put bound books in the hands of young people.