The “summer slide” is a term educators use when students exhibit a significant decrease in their reading and math abilities during the summer, when school is not in session. Children from low-income families are particularly at risk. This summer the problem is compounded further by the lack of classroom structure since COVID-19 hit.
To help curb the loss of these skills, the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton will debut a Summer Reading Club for low-income children in the community, to encourage reading during the summer months.
“As any parent who assumed the role of teacher during the last three months will tell you, this school year was less than ideal,” said Leah Oppenheimer, CMEE’s director of community outreach. “Our aim with this program is to ensure that some of the most vulnerable in our community don’t fall behind their peers.”
A group of 32 children, grades 1 to 5, will meet weekly in July and August via online platforms. Museum educators, along with high school and college volunteers, will conduct discussions about the books they’re reading. Reading groups will be organized by grade. The program is designed to encourage participating students to read a minimum of 20 minutes each day.
“As demonstrated by our weekly food pantry and now the Summer Reading Club, the Museum remains committed to serving the needs of vulnerable families in our community,” said Steve Long, CMEE’s president. “We’re grateful to the donors, volunteers and partner organizations who have worked together to make initiatives like this possible.”
CMEE’s mission is “to spark imagination and foster learning for children of all backgrounds and abilities and to build strong connections within the East End community by providing playful experiences.”
To volunteer, learn more about the program, or donate a book, visit CMEE’s website.