Summer reading programs improve education outcomes

Studies have shown when students are not engaged in educational activities during the summer break from school they often experience learning loss, effectively erasing gains made during the school year. 

To help students stay ahead of the curve several House Republican lawmakers are sponsoring summer reading programs for kids. The reading programs challenge elementary school-aged students to read on their own during the summer months, choosing their own books and self-reporting their results. 

Legislators have come up with unique ways to encourage young readers from recognition awards, ice cream socials and pizza parties to tickets for local sporting events. 

More than 100 participants have already completed Rep. Ryan Spain's summer reading program that ends on July 31. It is expected the number of participants will grow by the reading deadline. 

“Keeping the mind active through reading over summer break helps ensure students enter the next school year on the front foot,” said Spain. “My Summer Reading Program is a fun way to reward students by simply reading eight books over their summer break and returning a form signed by a parent or guardian. It’s important for all of us in our communities to encourage students to get ahead by becoming better readers.”

June 28 is the deadline for Reps. Paul Jacobs and Patrick Windhorst's summer reading programs. Their encouragement comes with an added bonus, two tickets to a Thrillville Thrillbillies baseball game for all students who complete the requisite reading of eight books.

"This a great chance for students to keep reading throughout their summer break, keep their literary skills sharp, and earn a ticket to watch a baseball game with me and their fellow summer readers," said Windhorst. "I’m thrilled to be joining up with my colleague State Rep. Paul Jacobs to host summer readers and a parent at Mountain Dew Stadium for a Thrillville Thrillbillies game on July 25th as a reward for the students’ hard work.”

Summer reading programs are just one of many ways Illinois House Republican legislators are ensuring Illinois students succeed in their academics. Our Literacy Improves Future Endeavors (LIFE) working group is focused on improving literacy and outcomes for all students through bold legislative initiatives that will improve reading scores and take action on the teacher shortage.