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  •  Summer Literacy Adventure

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  • Summer Reading List Encourages Kids to Keep Learning
    Summer break is just a month away and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is encouraging kids to keep learning while they are outside of the classroom. More than 150 books have the department’s official seal of approval as good picks to entertain young readers and prevent summer learning loss.
    Years of research confirm students lose vital reading and math skills, with some researchers estimating at least a month of learning loss, during each summer break. Prolonged breaks deteriorate student learning gains and widen the achievement gap among low-income students. The more students practice reading, math and critical-thinking skills during the summer months, the better prepared they will be to graduate high school ready for college and careers.
    “Empowering a child with the ability to read has a transformational effect on their future success in life,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. “The new Common Core State Standards underscore the importance of reading and literacy, and we must do more to ensure kids don’t fall behind while they’re out of the classroom. If we can help kids love to read, we’ll ensure they are lifelong learners.”
    The FDOE is also encouraging parents to get involved in their children’s reading activities this summer. Some tips to help children get excited about reading are to read aloud to young children, take children of all ages to the library and allow them to choose their own books, or to create light-hearted sibling rivalry by encouraging a competition to see who can read the most books over the summer months. 
    Examples of great books to enjoy from the 2013 summer reading list include
    ·         Grades K-3:   Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
    ·         Grades 4-5:   The Black Stallion, Walter Farley
    ·         Grades 6-8:   Old Yeller, Fred Gipson 
    ·         Grades 9-12: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
    Visit the department’s Summer Reading List or Just Read, Florida! website at for more information.
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  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter launch of the Summer Brain Gain program

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties announces the launch of the Summer Brain Gain program, a summer learning loss prevention program developed specifically for Boys & Girls Clubs.

    Each summer, an estimated 43 million children in the U.S. miss out on expanded learning opportunities that could prevent them from falling behind before the next school year begins. During summer, most youth lose about two months’ worth of math skills. Low-income youth also lose more than two months’ worth of reading skills, while their middle-class peers make slight gains.

    “Summer learning losses can stack up from year to year, causing low-income children to fall further and further behind, ultimately endangering their chances of high school graduation,” said Freddy Williams, Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to ensuring that our community’s youth, especially those who need us most, graduate from high school on time with a plan for the future. That’s why we are offering the Summer Brain Gain program to fight the detrimental effect of summer learning loss.”

    Summer Brain Gain is comprised of 17 one-week modules with fun, themed activities for elementary school, middle school and high school students. Supported by Disney, each module takes a project-based learning approach; youth engage in a process of learning through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project or production. With modules topics such as “Green Team,” “Wacky Watch” and “Connect the Dots,” participants can make sculptures out of found objects, create weather in a bottle, or even learn how they are connected to the President of the United States of America.

    Summer Brain Gain was pilot tested in more than 200 Clubs in 2013. While the average low-income U.S. student lost at least two months of learning last summer, the average Summer Brain Gain participant did not. Given this positive impact, Summer Brain Gain will be offered at 1,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country this summer, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties.

    For more information about Summer Brain Gain, please visit

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