Governor Mary Fallin and State Superintendent Janet Barresi kicked off the State Department of Education’s 2013 Summer Reading Program – Read 5 for Summer on Friday morning. Surrounded by students, parents and educators from Putnam City’s James L. Dennis Elementary School at one of the state’s newest libraries -- the Patience S. Latting Northwest Library in Oklahoma City – everyone left ready to find five good books this summer.
“Reading is a skill children must have to be successful in school and in life,” Governor Fallin said. “I’m supporting this summer reading challenge – Read 5 for Summer – because I know it will help children sharpen their reading skills and be ready to continue learning when they return to school in the fall.”
State Superintendent Janet Barresi said, “Reading at least five books at the appropriate reading level will help children avoid the summer learning slip. Literacy is the foundation for all other learning success. I’m grateful to our school and public librarians, our teachers and our parents who are helping us with this program. The result will be children who become lifelong readers.”
Prior to Friday’s Read 5 for Summer kickoff, Superintendent Barresi sent bookmarks for each elementary school child in the state to all state elementary schools. Included in each packet were letters for school librarians and elementary teachers as well as letters for parents in both English and Spanish as well as tips for questions to ask before, during and after the reading experience.
The letters explained the importance of knowing a child’s Lexile score, which shows an individual’s ability to read text on grade level. School and public librarians as well as teachers are asked to write a child’s Lexile score on the bookmarks. With that information, children or their parents can find books to read in their interest area at the appropriate reading level.
Parents and others also can look up a child’s reading level on the State Department of Education’s Lexile page: http://sde.ok.gov/sde/lexiles
The bookmarks also have space for children to record the titles of five books read during the summer. They can return their books to their school librarians in the fall for recognition and rewards.
At Friday’s event, the governor and the superintendent both thanked the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Metropolitan Library System for their support of the State Department of Education’s Read 5 for Summer program, which is running in conjunction with the library’s own summer reading program, Dig into Reading.
The books children read over the summer will count for both the SDE and Department of Libraries summer reading programs.
Watch a video of Friday's event here: https://vimeo.com/65419002