To help keep students on their toes during the summer, Goliad Elementary School has opened its library to local students and families on Wednesdays.

Current hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Goliad Media Specialist Starla Redwine said the idea is to prevent “summer slide.”

According to the Campaign for Grade Level Reading website, research has proven that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer.

“The problem is particularly acute among low-income students who lose an average of more than two months in reading achievement in the summer, which slows their progress toward third grade reading proficiency. And it exacerbates the achievement gap with their middle-class peers,” the site said.

Redwine noted that people have to know how to read in all aspects of their lives and if students pick up a book in the summer, they can challenge themselves to increase their reading level.

“Ms. Redwine is great about sharing resources with teachers and … opportunities for kids to read and ways for families to get out there and get involved,” Principal Lauren Tavarez said. “We were talking about how the public library has an awesome summer program, but that this is more central for our neighborhood. If parents can’t necessarily get to the public library, they still can get their kiddoes in here and read with us. It’s just closer to home. We wanted something more accessible to our families.”

Tavarez said reading has been an issue district wide.

“I applaud our kindergarten teachers because when we get kids in the fall, they have such a wide range. They have students that will come in knowing all their ABC’s (and) knowing all their numbers. Their parents have been able to work with them on that and teach them those things. Then you’ve got some students that … come in with no knowledge, so they’re starting from the ground up. It is something that is a challenge for us that we work really hard on just working with students on their level and being able to help each kid grow,” Tavarez said.

“That’s been a big focus for Goliad this year was individual students, so I appreciate Ms. Redwine doing this because we have seen so much growth this year. I would hate to think students we worked really hard with go home and they don’t look at text until August,” she added.

Tavarez said the school sent information home in May with login information and various resources students could access during the summer, if they were able to get on the internet.

If not, Tavarez said students can come to the school and use its devices.

“Anything we can do to keep them reading in the summer, we will do it. … We always, we put that out there to families that we’re here to help them however they need because they may not be able to have internet at the house. That’s OK. We’ve got it up here, so they’re more than welcome to use our devices also,” she said.

Redwine said she hopes summer library hours become a trend and that it keeps going until the end of summer, if they have enough traffic.

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