To the Editor:

Thank you for addressing the critical need for summer reading for our children.  As you point out “summer setback” can negatively impact student reading achievement, particularly among low-income students. I smiled as the read the editorial: My wife has leveraged the resources of the Internet and our local library to help our son enhance his reading skills.

As summer approached, she discovered the Scholastic summer reading list (www.scholastic.com/summer). She found some of the books at our local library. However, many of the books were unavailable. With the help of local library staff, she was able to tap into the large inventory of books available through inter-library loan and we have since received a stack of books every few weeks. My son has enjoyed the variety and the challenge and he has made substantial progress checking off the list.

As a member of the local school board I firmly believe that the education of our children is ultimately the responsibility of parents. Parents must be aware of what our children need to succeed in this diverse, changing world. Parents need to understand their child’s strengths and weaknesses and work to provide resources to address their needs. Parents need to engage teachers, school administrators and the school board approaching their child’s education as actively engaged participants rather than occasional bystanders. 

Finally, as the editorial pointed out, parents can demonstrate the importance of education themselves through continued reading between summer outings, hiking, camping, swimming or hunting.

Ultimatly we each want the very best for our children. Education is critical to their future. Summer reading is a critical component.

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