As the daylight hours grow longer, temperatures rise, and our roadways are less congested, Collier County teachers, parents, caregivers and students know that summer is right around the corner. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents would be marking the days until school was out and fretting over how to keep their kids busy all summer and keep the complaints of “I’m bored” at bay.
Fast forward to the present and we are still emerging out from under the pandemic. Some students have not seen an in-person classroom for over a year. Many others returned to school hidden behind masks and greatly reduced class sizes.
Whether it is called summer learning loss, summer setback, summer slide, or now the COVID slide, our students are at an even greater disadvantage this summer.
Academic setbacks, often seen only during summer break, are predicted to be compounded by the school closures, extended online learning environments and isolation brought on by the pandemic.
How can parents and caregivers help keep their kids from falling further behind when the school year ends in the coming weeks?
Spoken best by the American Library Association, “libraries help narrow the achievement gap by offering summer learning opportunities for all ages.” Current research shows that reading four or more books can help lessen the negative effects of the summer slide.
One former Collier County Public School teacher agrees, “The summer slide is real. It is beneficial for our students to be proactive in their education over the summer by availing themselves to community resources, like summer reading programs offered through public libraries to help maintain their gains.”
Your Collier County Public Libraries are here to help! Starting June 1, all libraries will kick-off our mission to keep kids reading and engaged during the summer. Adults too! Join us for Tails and Tales — our 2021 Summer Reading Program.
All ten libraries across Collier County will be providing a mix of limited in-person Youth Services, staff-led programs, anytime-access virtual programs and live virtual programs.
Attending a Collier County Parks & Recreation summer camp? No worries! Library staff are taking Tails and Tales to a Parks & Recreation summer camp near you!
The summer educational opportunities do not stop there. For the third year in a row, the Naples Botanical Garden is teaming up with Collier County Public Library. Library cardholders receive complimentary general admission to the Naples Botanical Garden June 12th through 20th, 2021. Reservations are required. Additional questions can be directed to (239) 325-1354.
Wait! There is more! Collier County Museums will be hosting School’s Out, Museums are IN! Programs designed for kids of all ages Saturdays from June 5th to August 7th are educational exploration days throughout all five of our County Museums.
Working together as a community we can provide Collier youth with enriching educational opportunities, keep Collier youth engaged in learning, and keep Collier youth READING!
Tanya Williams is the Collier County Library Division Director.
For more information about Collier County Public Library services and programs, please visit https://www.collierlibrary.org or call (239) 252-7369.
For more information about Collier Museums, please visit https://CollierMuseums.com or call (239) 252-8242.
For more information about Collier County Parks & Recreation, please call (239) 252-4000 or visit https://www.collierparks.com.