Key points:

  • By fostering stronger educator and caregiver communication, students can be better equipped to retain learning this summer
  • In order to inspire a lifelong love reading, consider guiding students to identify reading opportunities that complement their interests in their daily lives
  • See related article: 6 ways to help reluctant readers become booklovers

It’s been great to see students’ faces back in-person collaborating with one another and their teachers, but there’s no doubt the pandemic has impacted their academic and emotional learning. Reading scores dipped considerably due to the pandemic, with fewer than half of students qualifying at their grade level standard.

Even more, we are facing a student mental health crisis, with studies showing nearly 8 million children worldwide lost a parent or primary caregiver to a pandemic-related cause. Educators continue to work hard to keep students motivated and engaged in learning to read while helping them cope with mental health challenges.

Summer break, however, poses a risk to students retaining what they have just learned, according to the NWEA’s Map Growth assessments. As a reading specialist leading evidence-based programs at Holman Middle School, here are tips educators and other mentors can leverage to keep students motivated to read this summer.

Relationships come first, and reading comes quickly after

Teachers don’t always get to decide the culture of their classrooms themselves – a lot of it comes in predetermined by student interests, needs, and skill levels, and our success as educators rests in our ability to understand and connect with our students.

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