On June 8th, the First Lady launched United We Serve: Let’s Read, Let’s Move, a national call to service. This summer the President and First Lady have called on Americans to use service as a tool to promote physical activity, healthy eating and to prevent losing academic learning during the summer months. This call to service encourages Americans to help fight something called the “summer reading gap” - where kids who don’t read during the summer can lose months of educational progress.
To help address these challenges the Corporation for National and Community Service has partnered with the Department of Education, National Summer Learning Association, Reach Out and Read, First Book and the National Military Families Association -- among others, to reach a broad and diverse group of youth to promote National Summer Learning. All throughout the Summer, schools and organizations will be hosting events, giving away books and focusing on promoting the importance of summer learning. To find out about all the activities going on across the nation check out theNational Summer Learning Day website.
United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move makes it easy for Americans to help youth build strong minds through summer reading. Kids engaged in summer reading activities are better prepared for the new academic year, show improvement in spelling, writing style, vocabulary and grammatical development. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan put it best when he said:
“The key to stopping summer learning loss is reading. If a child reads a minimum of five books between June and August, they will be on track for success next school year. We need every child to read at least 5 books this summer and every adult to help. We are really excited to help kick off Let’s Read. Let’s Move and look forward to working with the Corporation for National Service and the rest of the Administration on this important initiative.”
To do their part, the Department of Education is inviting cabinet members, senior administration officials, and other public figures to their 2010 Summer Enrichment Series to read children’s books, promote healthy lifestyles, and participate in games and fitness activities with children in pre-kindergarten through third grade.
Even if you miss out on the activities in the month of June, it’s never too late to pick up a book and do your part. If your community is looking to get involved and participate, please see the Summer Learning Day Planning Kit or visit Serve.gov to find a way to volunteer in your community.
Sonal Shah, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation