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Monfredo: Learning Doesn’t Take a Vacation - Parents It’s up to You to Help

Saturday, June 23, 2018


School is out and this is the first weekend of summer vacation… BUT remember parents, learning time never takes a vacation. So this summer what will your child be doing?  If you have read my GoLocal columns faithfully, you know that literacy is an area that I have advocated for years and write lots of columns on its importance in the life of a child.

As a former principal, I know how devastating the summer can be for some children if they are not engaged in learning activities. Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they’ve learned or slip out of practice during the summer months. Remember the more that you read the better reader you become so we must continue advocating for reading during the summer months.

 Here are some reading and writing ideas that could improve your child’s reading this summer. One of my next stories will also center on the importance of math time in the summer.  First, let’s look at additional reading and writing ideas.

  • Read five to six books this summer – Research shows that reading just five or six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing.  In the selection of the books make sure they are not too hard or too easy.  Books should be selected on the interest of the child.  If you’re not sure what book will be best visit the Worcester Public Library and talk to one of the librarians. ”The libraries have lots of programs that motivate kids to read and they also have a copy of the Worcester schools reading list. As I stated in the past…IT’S THE BEST BARGAIN IN TOWN and all children should be brought to our city libraries especially in the summertime.
  • Read each day – encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read…. In the morning it could be the comics in the newspaper or today’s weather report… in the afternoon look for recipes on the web and perhaps cook together… in the evening have your child read to you pages from the book that he/she is reading.  Work on building fluency as your child reads.  The rule is to read as one talks, not too fast and not too slow.
  • Read aloud each day … it could be reading comic books, reading with a friend or just reading with a family member.
  • Encourage bed time reading – (it beats watching T.V.) allow your child to read in bed, and even allow them to stay up later as long as they are reading.  The minimum time for reading should be a least 20 minutes a day!
  • Start a blog – Parents, you can create a blog for your child over the summer and share it with family and friends.  You can also have them email friends and family members to enhance their writing skills.
  • Visit many of the sites in Worcester – ecotarium, art museum, and historical museum and have them get active at the YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, Friendly House, Rainbow Child Development and a host of other social agencies.
  • Learning while you’re on vacation – If you are planning a vacation turn it into a social studies activity.  Ask your child to research the destination’s history, their attractions, location, etc.  Once there, schedule tours to add to their social studies experience.


Other ideas for writing …keep a journal - encourage children to write each and every day for they can write about how the day went and activities that they participated during the day.  They can also write about what they are reading and what they think of the book. 

Also, I would encourage children on a weekly basis to writing to the Telegram and Gazette Sunday Happy Time Page.  Every Sunday their name will appear with the number of points they get for writing their essay or poem.

Here are the topics for the summer time for all elementary students to write on and submit to the newspaper…

  Week of June 24th - Topic is … “Staying Cool” … Poem – “Pool” due June 30...

  Week of July 1st    - Topic is ….  “My Favorite Animal” Poem – “Dog” … due July 7

  Week of July 8   - Topic is …     “My Favorite Book” …. Poem – “Read”…   Due July 14

  Week of July 15 – Topic is …    “My Birthday” …. Poem – “Cake” … Due July 21

  Week of July 22 - Topic is …   “My Favorite Color” … Poem – “Green” … due July 28th

  Week of July 29 – Topic is …     “My Favorite Dessert” … Poem – “Pie” … due August 4

  Week of August 5 – Topic is …   “My Favorite Fall Sport” … Poem-“Soccer” … due August 11

  Week of August 12 – Topic is …”Making New Friends” … Poem – “Smile” … due August 18

  Week of August 19 – Topic is … “Fun fall activities” … Poem – “Leaves” … due August 25

.  Send in your stories to the following address:

               Worcester Telegram and Gazette Happy Time Page

              100 Front Street, Floor 5

               Worcester MA 01608. 

Remember, the more that you write the better writer you become and reading and writing together make learning lots of fun.


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