The Perfect Summer
As parents, it’s fun to think about our kids having a perfect summer, making memories that last a lifetime. But we wouldn’t leave it up to our kids to create that perfect summer. We know that for them to make the most of their time and to make it safely back to the start of the next school year, our kids need coaching and support—and summertime reading.
Although most kids wouldn’t define a perfect summer as one that includes summertime reading, studies show that teachers commonly spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten during the summer. That month of re-learning eliminates a month that students could have spent learning new information and skills.
To help, the Ukiah Police Department (UPD) is teaming up with the Ukiah Unified School District (UUSD) Superintendent Debra Kubin to sponsor a program called, “Ukiah Reads.” This program is now in its third year, and it celebrates great books; fosters a love of reading (especially during summer); and invites parents, community members, and businesses to get involved with local schools.
The program does this by providing a carefully selected summer reading list for each grade level, and encouraging kids to read during the summer, thereby helping assure they are fully prepared to return to their classrooms in the fall.
You can find the Ukiah Reads book list online at www.uusd.net/pages/Ukiah_Unified/ukiahreads or at www.ukiahpolice.com/community-support/ukiah-reads-summer-time-reading-list/ . You can find the books on the list at our Mendocino County Library in Ukiah, the Mendocino Book Company at 102 S. School Street, or the Village Bookstore at 344 N. State Street.
At the UUSD website, you’ll find a link to a booklet that lists books suggested by our own local teachers and librarians. This book list offers stories full of mystery, adventure, romance, friendship, heartbreak, joy, and much more. As the Ukiah Reads booklet says, “A magical world of reading awaits you!”
UUSD Board members Anne Molgaard and Megan Van Sant helped start Ukiah Reads. They are passionate about this great program and enthusiastic about a new twist this year: we will award prizes for the biggest readers.
Superintendent Kubin came up with the idea. She said, “What if we offer a summer reading incentive program? We can make up reading logs, and kids can have their parents sign off on their summer reading. The logs could be turned in to classroom teachers during the first week of school, and we could offer a drawing for cool prizes. Each book read off the list earns a ticket into the drawing.”
So that’s what we’re doing! And UPD is helping to fund the program, because reading keeps kids out of trouble.
Author Kathryn Perkinson says, “…helping your children enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent…Kids will learn reading skills in school, but often they come to associate reading with work, not pleasure. As a result, they lose their desire to read. And it is that desire—the curiosity and interest—that is the cornerstone to using reading.”
For adults and kids alike, reading has so many benefits. According to blogger Lana Winter-Hebert, reading stimulates our brains and reduces stress. It teaches us new things, and expands our vocabulary. It reduces stress and improves our memory; gives us stronger analytical skills, and improves our focus and concentration. Reading can also make us better writers, a skill that helps people communicate effectively throughout their lives. Most importantly, it’s entertaining! All this and it’s free (if you use the library). Reading really matters. Help your kids unlock new worlds and gain all these benefits through reading. They may not thank you now, but they will almost certainly thank you later.
Finding summertime activities for kids can sometimes be difficult, and reading isn’t often on the list. But with your help, and a little reading, our kids can achieve a perfect summer.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.