The summer slide is definitely not hitting the house where two sisters, Zaria, 13, and Hailey, 8, from Dover, Delaware live. The two generous and creative kids have taken their love of reading to the Internet where they read bedtime stories on Facebook Live so that kids who don’t get read to can enjoy a story every single night.
The sister explained their idea to Good Morning America recently, telling GMA, “We like reading because sometimes people can’t read themselves or they’re too young or their parents don’t have time.”
“We pick books with characters who look like us because not a lot of kids see books with characters who look like us,” Zaria told GMA. “We read at 8 p.m. and split it up.”
Since the girls are quite young for social media they needed permission from their mom, Victoria Willard, who was admittedly reluctant to let her daughters go online. But after some negotiating, the three came to a pretty cool agreement.
The girls are not allowed to respond to comments until their mom sees them first. They are not allowed to follow everyone back on social media (mom get to make that decision). The girls must follow the household cell phone rules like no phones at the dinner table and definitely not after 9 PM. And finally, “don’t let fame go to your head”, Willard told GMA.
Reading is an important skill for every child, which is why parents and teachers worry about a phenomenon called the summer slide. According to Scholastic, kids lose upwards of 20% of their reading skills and 27% of the math skills they gained during the school year. This can have dramatically adverse effects when the school year starts back up and those kids who experienced loss of skills are forced to play catch up, or worse, fall behind.
Many schools and public libraries have adopted summer reading programs aimed at preventing the summer slide from happening to begin with. For more ideas on how you can stop the summer slide at your house, Scholastic recommends letting kids choose what kinds of books they want to read. Let them use their imagination during play and make sure they get outside to move their bodies. Try to have “smart” games around for them to brush up on literacy skills like sight word flashcards or math skills by playing with geometric shape games.
Or, you could pretend to have a TV show and let your kids take turns reading out loud to their audience every night.