Skill loss over the summer accounts for at least 80 percent of the reading achievement gap by ninth grade, according to studies.
A proposed solution? Free books.
St. Paul Elementary School received nearly 3,000 books through the South Carolina State Department of Education’s Summer Reading Project 2012. Each student received 12 books to keep, a reading log and calendar to keep track of the number of hours each of them read over the summer.
The school received the books due to being one of the Response to Intervention program schools, something that St. Paul Elementary has been involved with for the last two years. St. Paul was one of eight “Response to Intervention” schools throughout the state who were selected to receive on-site assistance from the South Carolina Department of Education staffers. The staffers were to identify youngsters with reading difficulties and help to get them on back on track.
The intervention specialists working with the school were to provide support and technical assistance.
St. Paul Elementary School Principal Rosa Dingle said she would like to encourage parents to read to their children and allow their children to read to them. Students are to record the number of minutes they read daily on their summer reading calendar.
“This is an exciting moment knowing that our students will have books to read throughout the summer,” she said.