Research shows that children who read for pleasure in the summer do better and forget less when they go back to school. And it's not just in reading. Kids who don't read over the summer can slide backward in all subject areas. This means the summer months and other breaks from school offer great opportunities for families and caregivers to help improve reading and writing.
Locate a book your child’s reading level.
- Visit the Find a Book website and enter the child’s grade just completed.
- Pick the child’s interest categories and view/refine the search results.
- Print the child’s custom reading list and take it with you to your local public library.
Paws to Read – Contact your local public library to find out more about the Library of Virginia’s summer reading program. A list of public libraries in Virginia is available at http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/libraries.asp.
DaybyDayVa – For daily activities related to reading, check out the Library of Virginia’s Family Literacy Calendar at http://daybydayva.org/.
Find it Virginia – Free, round-the-clock access to resources – such as newspapers, magazine articles, journal articles and books including encyclopedias – may be found through the Library of Virginia’s Find It Virginia. Materials are available for all age ranges and interests. For summer learning, these links might be of interest:
Summer Math Challenge – For students who have just completed grades 2-5, a free, six-week, email-based math skills program is available by registering at Quantile Summer Math Challenge. From June 23 to August 1, parents receive daily emails with fun activities and resources designed to help kids retain the math skills learned during the previous school year. In addition, visit Quantile Summer Math Challenge daily to learn about weekly math concepts, how to earn badges, and to print out a certificate at the end of the challenge.
For Kids Math & Science – To find fun activities and interesting information related to math and science, check out For Kids.
Bedtime Math – Find a new math challenge every day http://bedtimemath.org/
STEM Activity App - Families that sign up will receive fun and engaging activities related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by email each week.
NOAA For Kids – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the federal agency that focuses on the earth’s changing environment, predicting weather, exploring the oceans, marine commerce and a lot more. Visit NOAA for links to many explorations from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor and everything in between.
The Smithsonian Institution – The world’s largest museum and research complex offers students many opportunities to explore, discover and learn about science, nature and other things, too, at Smithsonian Education.
THE 4-H Virtual Forest – To find out more about photosynthesis, tree identification, renewable resources and outdoor activities, check out the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Virtual Forest.
Science Matters – Students can visit Central Virginia’s PBS website Science Matters for opportunities to explore the natural world around them.
History & Social Science
Capitol Classroom – For information about Virginia's symbols, emblems, history, General Assembly members, the state capitol and how a bill becomes a law, check out Capitol Classroom.
Museums in Virginia – Summer is the perfect time to visit one of Virginia's museums. Do some virtual exploration about Virginia’s early days at Jamestown and Yorktown or take an interactive tour of Williamsburg.
Historic Sites in Virginia – To learn more about the Old Dominion’s historic and historical sites, exhibits, monuments and legendary persons, go to Historic Sites. Each site has its own unique story, and nearly all have a friendly Virginia face available to share a tale.
Virginia Time Travelers: Historic Homes – Find information and then travel to Virginia’s many historic homes. To become a Master Traveler, download a passport, visit eight participating Virginia homes, mail the completed passport to the Executive Mansion and be recognized on the website and receive a certificate signed by the governor.
Summer Food Program
Every summer break, as school ends, so can the guarantee of healthy lunch options for many of Virginia’s students. Combined with summer learning loss, this can put many students at a disadvantage when they return to formal learning in the fall. The Public Libraries in Virginia and Virginia Health Department are working together to offer summer meals and programming designed to provide nourishment and help prevent summer learning loss for children and teens. To find a site near you, visit No Kid Hungry.