Ukiah Reads 2016
In just a few short weeks our kids will be returning to school, and I can’t think of a better time to remind everyone about the Ukiah Unified School District’s (UUSD) summer program: Ukiah Reads.
Experts say children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, “It's common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”
To help avoid this summertime slide, UUSD created a great program called Ukiah Reads, and for the last two years our police department has supported it by providing gift certificates to recognize and reward the program’s top readers.
The program celebrates great books, fosters a love of reading (especially during summer), and invites our community to get involved with local schools. It does this by preparing a reading list for each grade level and encouraging kids to read during the summer, thereby preparing them to return to their classrooms in the fall.
The Ukiah Reads book list is available online at www.uusd.net, and locally you can find books from the list at the 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 listing all of the books suggested by local teachers and librarians for each age group. The booklist includes stories full of mystery, adventure, romance, friendship, heartbreak, joy, and much more. As the Ukiah Reads booklet suggests, “A magical world of reading awaits you!”
Whether students read books recommended by the Ukiah Reads program or whether they choose other favorites, the most important thing is that they keep reading.
At the Reading Is Fundamental website (rif.org), author Kathryn Perkinson says, “…helping your children enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, and it’s well worth the investment of your time and energy. 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 and related skills successfully.”
Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Club, reminds us that when children turn eight years old and redirect their attention to other activities, reading often takes a back seat. She argues that this is not only because reading is not considered as cool as other activities, but more importantly because this is often when parents stop reading to their children. Just because a child learns to read doesn’t mean parents should stop reading to them.
Instead, Newman says, we need to keep reading and encouraging reading—to make reading cool, too! The secret is to find things that capture a child’s imagination, that allow kids to grow and learn while exploring topics they find interesting
The Reading Is Fundamental website warns that summertime tends to be a time when families’ schedules are frequently interrupted and parents can lose sight of how much educational ground their children is losing, particularly when it comes to reading. With school starting in just a few weeks, I can’t think of a better time to encourage your kids to start reading again before returning to the classroom.
To help you encourage – even bribe – your kids to read, we are offering gift certificates for some Ukiah Reads participants. To qualify for an award from a school principal, a student must complete a reading log (the template can be downloaded from uusd.net) and returned their classrooms no later than Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.
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.