Books And Ice Cream Perfect Mix At CER

OSWEGO, NY – How important is summer reading for youngsters?

Joan Dain, a literacy coach at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School, explained the importance of spending time with a good book.

Students select which books they'd like to have for the CER Summer Reading Program.
Students select which books they'd like to have for the CER Summer Reading Program.

She said, “If kids don’t read research has shown they can go back almost four to six months and that would be a huge loss.”

In order to maintain a solid reading level CER library specialist Molly Clark has instituted a summer reading program which kicked off with a school year-end ice cream social.

She said, “It is important that our students read over the summer. We conducted an ice cream social to kick off our summer reading program.”

It is hoped that during the summer months the students from the Charles E. Riley Elementary School will read at least for at least 15 minutes a day for four days per week.

The parents will verify the reading and the students will have an opportunity to earn rewards for their efforts.

Another very important part of the ice cream social involved books.

Clark explained, “We are giving each student at least two books at their respective reading level.”

Prior to the celebration a book drive was conducted where hundreds of books were donated not only by parents, but also faculty and staff or just avid readers who wanted to share their experiences.

The Charles E. Riley Elementary School had received a grant to increase family involvement.

Clark said, “We wanted to encourage kids to read over the summer and it is important for their parents to be involved. We thought the ice cream social would be a great family event.”

Not only did the youngsters have an opportunity to enjoy a cold treat, but  the storytelling duo of “Beauty and the Beast’ was on hand to share their love of reading and fables.

Excitement was high in the gymnasium as families gathered to enjoy ice cream and then sat back to listen to the two very talented storytellers.

It was obvious the children treasured their books as they spent a long period of time reviewing the titles, thumbing through the pages and eventually selecting the two books that were theirs to keep.

Dain said, “We want kids excited about reading. They work so hard during the school year to become strong readers” and this summer program reinforces that year-long reading experience.

Dain continued, “If they can sustain the level of reading they had at the end of the school year it will be great and allow them to move forward when school starts in September.”

For Charles E. Riley Elementary School students and families it was a tremendous way to bring down the curtain on the school year.

However, as evidenced by the smiles and the protective hugs around their books teachers can be assured that many of these youngsters will spend time diving, not in the local pool, but into a good book.