"It's more on the parents to try and get them to read, and trying to get them engaged in enjoying reading." -Guy Harris, Casper College Library Employee
School's out and if you're going on vacation odds are the last thing on your child's mind is learning and reading, but by not doing so your child could suffer come back to school time. Summer is a time for relaxing and outdoor activities, but no matter what grade they're in, for a student to do nothing academic for the entire break can put them at a severe disadvantage.
It's June, but at the Natrona County Library kids are learning on their own time; before it's too late.
Jerry Jones, a librarian at the Natrona County Library said, "If they go a couple of month without reading then when school starts again they're going to have to catch up."
Educators call it the summer slide and it can result in a child falling months or even years behind their classmates. This is a trend some say has only recently started.
Guy Harris, a Casper College Library employee said, "I don't remember any time that I wasn't spending a good amount of time in the library during the summer."
Reading may not sound like a summer activity but librarians say if a child reads just twenty minutes a day it helps them excel in all areas of their education and those twenty minutes don't need to be spent cooped up inside on a sunny day.
Jones said, "Kids can read in the car, kids can read you know when they're at the lake. Like you find time for other activities, just set aside a little time for reading."
Without teachers and homework, librarians say someone needs to tell the children when it's time to read.
Harris said, "It's more on the parents to trying to get them to read, and trying to get them engaged in enjoying reading."
Some believe the summer slide is caused by a lack of readily accessible books, but Jones says that is not the problem.
Jones said, "Library cards are free, so it really doesn't cost them anything to use the library."
The Natrona County Library has summer reading programs available for all ages. Librarians also encourage that parents read with their kids and make being a book worm a family affair.