Dear Houston Community,
Another school year has ended for children across our city. Not only is summer a time for children to have fun, but it is also an important time for them to continue to read and learn. So, let’s make summer count. Why? Because all children tend to lose ground in math and low-income students fall further behind in reading than their more affluent peers during the summer months. This summer learning loss cumulates year after year and can result in children losing significant ground academically.
Much like any skill, to be great at reading, practice is required. I recall Malcom Gladwell’s statement in his bestselling book, Outliers: The Story of Success: “Practice isn’t the thing that you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” It’s important for families to support and encourage their child’s learning and to provide them with meaningful opportunities to become good readers.
We are working hard again to make summer count by ensuring that more children have access to high-quality summer learning programs and access to books in their home. For example, we have teamed up with the Houston Area Urban League, the Houston Symphony and the Children’s Museum of Houston to offer Camp Adventure! More than 800 children will participate in the free, two-week program underwritten by Phillips 66 and Target. Corporate partners Bank of Texas, Cheniere Energy, JP Morgan, KPMG, Marathon Oil, Phillips 66, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Schlumberger, and Target have all committed teams of volunteers to facilitate the activities that integrate science, technology, engineering, math, reading and the arts. Thanks to Marathon Oil, every child will also receive a home library during the camp. I encourage you and your organization to be a part of this exciting program as volunteers and make summer count for hundreds of children.
There are several other free programs in our city and online that engage and encourage children to read and learn. Check out our website to learn more about why you need to make summer count and to view the list of available free programs for the children in your life.
Thank you for joining us to make summer count!
Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.