It is hard to believe that it is already May! As we wrap up the 2020-2021 school year, students, teachers and parents are looking forward to summer vacation. Many of us have spent way too much time looking at screens this school year and are hoping to power down and enjoy some unplugged time. We all are hoping to find activities to do this summer without a screen and that will help students stay on track and not be part of the “summer slide.” This slide may affect students of all ages. Studies show that students who read during the summer gain an average of 1 month of reading proficiency. Students who don’t read lose an average of 2-3 months of proficiency and over time, those lost months add up to years. By high school, 2/3 of the reading achievement gap can be attributed to summer learning loss during the elementary years. One way students can avoid the slide is to participate in the Jefferson County Public Library Summer Challenge.
This year's library summer challenge is titled “Wild Ideas.” Registration opened on May 1st and the challenge runs from June 1st to July 31st. The Summer Challenge has many different ways to engage students. The activities are categorized by Read, Explore and Connect. As students complete activities, they are eligible for prizes. This is a great way to motivate students and to keep students learning while school is not in session. Just for signing up, students can either receive a sticker or a PopTart, yes I said Pop Tarts! Other prizes include an Elitch Gardens pass, iPads and of course books. Learn more about prizes and sponsors here.
Participating in the challenge can also provide schools with some much needed funds. The school with the highest number of finishers wins $800. This will help schools purchase books in a time when budgets are low and Digital Teacher Librarians are trying to recoup the loss of books from COVID circumstances. Last year's winners all used their money to build their collections and resources. Tobye Ertelt, DTL from Oberon Middle School, purchased some new graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction books as well as some ebooks. Heather Kramer, DTL from Devinny, Elementary School, purchased more PebbleGo modules so that students, both remote and face to face, had access to this amazing resource. Wheat Ridge High School’s DTL, Debbie Livingston, spruced up her fiction section to entice high school students to check out more books.
Finally, participants earn points which go towards Jeffco Eats, a program that provides food to Jeffco residents. For every 1 million points we earn as a group, Jeffco Eats will get $100, up to a maximum of $500.
As the countdown to vacation is on, please encourage your students to sign up for the Summer Challenge at Jefferson County Public Library. If you have any questions ask your Digital Teacher Librarian.