United Way of Erie County to Host 8 Book Swap Events to Encourage Youth Reading and Prevent Learning Loss
United Way of Erie County will hold a number of FREE “summer slide” book swap events at various locations throughout Erie County during the month of June. For many children in our community, especially from lower income households, the summer months don’t include reading or continuing educational activities. This results in a loss of achievement for children who then start off the next school year with learning losses from the previous year, and this loss is called the “summer slide.”
A study by Johns Hopkins University shows that by the end of fifth grade, low income children fall more than two years behind their middle-class peers on verbal achievement, which often leads to poor performance in school and dropping out before high school graduation. Research has shown that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from “sliding” back in his or her reading ability. And, that reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed.
Throughout the months of April and May, local companies and organizations were invited to donate new or gently used children’s books through book drives. As a result of tremendous support, more than 8,000 books have been collected. United Way of Erie County book swap events are meant to serve as a bridge to help prevent that ‘slide’ from happening by offering free books to anyone who attends the swap. The book swaps are open to children of all ages and their families with age appropriate books ranging from birth to grade 12.
The book swaps are also a great opportunity for children to bring gently used books that are no longer wanted or have grown out of, and ‘swap’ it for a different book. No books? No problem! Everyone is welcome, no books required.