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    Summer Reading with Seattle Super Readers
    Posted on 06/24/2020
    A group of people stand in a school gym to collect books for students

    Summer Reading with Seattle Super Readers

    It's summertime again, and our Seattle Super Readers are ready to build their super reading powers! During the last week of school, 24 elementary schools were able to provide books for summer reading for our students, thanks to a partnership with Page Ahead. and the Satterberg Foundation’s Literacy Initiative within Seattle Public Schools (SPS).

    Page Ahead is a children's literacy program that is focused on K-2 students to ensure they are reading at grade level by grade 3 and provide books to students for summer reading.

    Typically, students engage in an in-person book fair that is hosted by Page Ahead, but this year, everything had to be virtual due to the COVID-19 school closures. In order to make this happen, SPS and Page Ahead worked with Follet, an educational technology and book vendor, to take the annual Page Ahead book fair online. Students were able to pick out their 12 books through a special website that was made accessible to all students, even those using cellular devices or tablets. The book fair website had categories for students to browse as they were choosing their books - some chose adventure, some chose nonfiction, while others chose fantasy! There Was a book to interest every Super Reader!

    Teachers and families worked with students to help determine which books would best fit their interests. Teachers connected with students via Microsoft Teams and phone calls to help students make their decisions. In a typical in-person book fair, parents and caregivers don't often get to participate. However, the virtual book fair allowed families the opportunity to browse book selections with their students, which allowed for more robust family engagement in choosing books that will help build their Super Reader skills.

    Once books were chosen by the students, they were shipped to the SPS warehouse and distributed to the schools to hand out to students during the last week of school, June 15-19. Each student received their own bag of books, along with a Seattle Super Readers sticker and bookmark, in a socially distant way, while also getting to interact with their teachers and principals one more time before the school year ended.

    Thank you to Page Ahead, the Satterberg Foundation, Follet, and the SPS team (including our amazing staff in the SPS warehouse) for making this possible. Summer reading is crucial for gaining the literacy skills necessary to be reading well by third grade.

    Seattle Super Readers at Summer Meal Sites For those students who were not part of the Page Ahead program — SPS has something for you too! This summer at the 26 meal sites, we will have a Seattle Super Reader summer book swap. From July 7-August 7, students can come to any of the summer meal sites and pick out books that they would like to read over the summer break. Once they complete a book (or books), they can return them to any meal site and swap them out for more books to read.

    Each summer meal site will be staffed with a Super Reader Sidekick who can help your student pick out the books that best fit their interests. There will be books available for students in grades PreK-5 as well as some middle and high school. In order to ensure the health and safety of our students, families, and staff, all returned books will be quarantined for three days before they can be used again. Any book with a Seattle Super Readers sticker should be returned by August 7 to any of the meal sites. Please note: Students who received their books through the Page Ahead book fair do not need to return their books.

    For our PreK students, we received a donation of 600 copies of The Same Differences, from African American author and SPS alum, Kayla Ortiz. The Same Differences is an educational children's book that teaches readers about inclusion, diversity, and self-appreciation through rhyming and vibrant colored pictures. These copies will be available at each summer meal site for our youngest students to enjoy all summer.

    Along with a large selection of books to choose from, all meal sites will have optional learning packets that students can also take home each week which contain a special Seattle Super Readers Challenge. These learning packets can help supplement any summer math or English language arts learning that your student is engaging in but are not required to be completed.

    Thank you to all SPS staff who have been involved in coordinating the summer books and learning packets. We can't wait to see all of the great reading skills that our students build over the summer.

    For more Seattle Super Reader reading ideas, see our book list. 

    Parents, you can help your Super Readers build their literacy skills by encouraging them to read for at least 20 minutes a day, every day. You can also help your child set a weekly reading goal — use the summer learning packets or Seattle Public Library reading logs to keep track of their progress! There are all sorts of books to explore all summer long at each of the meal sites, and we encourage students to pick the books that interest them the most.

    As we always say, let's get reading, Super Readers!