A Trip to the Library Can Help Beat “Summer Slide”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Virginia Beach Public Library's Summer Reading Program offers fun activities and great prizes. But the most important reason to encourage children and teens to participate in the program is that it helps them retain what they learned during the school year.

Children who read regularly and participate in enriching activities during summer are less likely to experience "summer slide," a loss of skills that can occur during summer break. According to a 2009 study by a Johns Hopkins University professor for the National Summer Learning Association, children who experience summer slide fall behind their peers in school. Compounded yearly, summer slide can mean the difference between a child heading to college or dropping out of high school.

A few trips to the library can help a child stay on the path to success. Victoria Strickland-Cordial, youth and family services manager for Virginia Beach Public Library, offers parents these tips:​

  1. Establish a regular reading time.
  2. Set a realistic reading goal: 20 minutes a day is enough to beat summer slide.
  3. Visit the library as part of your weekly routine.
  4. Register the whole family for the Summer Reading Program: there's a program for children, teens and adults.
  5. Be a model reader: make sure your child sees you reading for pleasure, too!
  6. Read together: even reading the newspaper together is beneficial.
  7. Register your child for his own library card.
  8. Let your child choose his own books to read.
  9. Show a genuine interest in what your child is reading.
  10. Visit the library’s calendar to find free, educational (and fun) activities for your child, all summer long.

About Summer Reading Program
The program began Monday, June 18 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 11. To date, nearly 8,000 children, teens and adults have signed up for the program.

Participants register and manage reading logs online at www.VBgov.com/SRP. Computers with Internet access are available at all libraries for those who don’t have access at home. Children and teens track reading time, adults track book titles.

As part of the fun and learning, the library offers free events and activities for all ages, all summer long.   

The Friends of the Virginia Beach Public Library and the Virginia Beach Library Foundation fully fund the summer reading program, including new books as reading rewards for children and teens, special events and grand prizes. Several local businesses and organizations donate incentives, too.

About Virginia Beach Public Library
A community anchor for more than 50 years, Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, eight area libraries, a law library and a bookmobile. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early childhood literacy classes and local history archives. In addition to books in a variety of formats (print, audio and downloadable), the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, as well as movies, music, and a variety of specialty collections. In fiscal year 2010/2011, the library saw 1.9 million people through its doors and checked out more than 3.3 million items. Visit www.VBgov.com/libraries for more information.