On April 20, 2016 Dr. MaryAnn Nickel gave an advanced tutor training on Summer Reading Slide. This is the piece of Schools of Hope that I felt was missing from the very beginning of the program.
Many of the kids we tutor start school far behind their peers who do not struggle with reading. All kids make about the same amount of progress each year but if a struggling reader does not read or do other literacy activities over the summer they can backslide and lose two months of literacy skills over summer vacation. Now they are even further behind. What can we do as Schools of Hope tutors? Dr Nickel has some ideas, in a folder or Manila envelop put dated letters you write to your students to be opened at various times during the summer. Use the vocabulary words that you have been reviewing during your sessions. It is OK to type the letters (Whew!). Look for environmental print (a comic from the newspaper, a candy wrapper and my favorite: the back of a cereal box. I mam a child of the 50's after all). Dr Nickel included a page of kid-friendly poems that you can find at the link below. The first poem is one I resemble. Kids will like it, too. Include information about how to get a library card. For The Sonoma County Library you can find the application in both English and Spanish here. All libraries have summer reading activities. Sonoma County's schedule is here, include that, too. The United Way will be giving each of our students a book to take home. Another thing that you could include is the Five Finger Rule graphic to help the student and his parents find the just right book at the library or bookstore.
The United Way of the Wine Country has an online Resource Guide for Schools of Hope tutors. You can find links to several advanced tutor training sessions, literacy blogs and websites, libraries in their service area and a video of a Spring Creek tutor session.