Studies show that reading for pleasure is beneficial for kids in multiple ways, including maintaining and advancing their reading skills and helping them succeed in school.
The keys to getting students hooked on summer reading are:
- Inspiring them to connect to books to which they can relate
- Equipping them to self-select reading materials
- Providing them with the opportunity to engage in conversations about what they read
Alexandria Summer Reading Challenge
Don’t forget to pack books when you head to the pool, beach or camp this summer!
All ACPS students are asked to engage in summer reading as a way to learn new words and topics, solidify reading skills, and further develop a love of reading. Studies have repeatedly proven the importance of summer reading for retaining reading skills.
One study by James Kim of the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that reading four to five books over the summer was sufficient to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall. This U.S. Department of Education “Summer Reading Pays Off Year Round” article further validates the power of summer reading. See below for our ACPS Summer Reading Programs:
Rising PreK-5th Grade Summer Reading Program:
- All rising K-5 students are asked to complete the SummerQuest summer reading program coordinated through the Alexandria Library. Students earn 1 point for every 20 minutes of reading or points for attending library programs.
- The program emphasizes personalized book choice. Once students accumulate 30 points, they can choose a free prize book.
- Rising 1st-5th grade students can record their books on a piece of paper (download the SummerQuest Paper Log (PDF)), or enter the books online using the Beanstack tool; rising preschool and kindergarten students complete an activity sheet.
Rising 6th-8th Grade Summer Reading Program:
- NEW FOR 2019-20: ACPS recommends that ALL rising middle school students who are enrolled in Grades 6-8 English for 2019-20 read two (2) books over the summer and respond to each book with one of the 18 listed Reading Responses on the Summer Reading Project. Completion of the Summer Reading Project (PDF) will earn students extra credit in their first quarter of English.
- Books will be made available to students who may not have access to them over the summer through their English teacher
- Directions, support documents, and resources (including the 18 Reading Responses options) are available on both school and ACPS websites
Rising 9th-12th Grade Summer Reading Program:
- All rising 9th-12th students are asked to read 4 or more books this summer. Students are encouraged to use the Alexandria City Libraries’ SummerQuest challenge “A Universe of Stories” by enrolling in the Beanstack website to track their reading progress and earn virtual badges. Students earn 1 point for every 20 minutes of reading and will receive a prize once they reach 30 points. Students can keep track on paper using the Summer Reading Bookmark (PDF).
- Students are also encouraged to enter the “For Love of Country Essay and Poetry Contest” sponsored by the Alexandria Library for prizes and points. Once students earn 15 points, they are eligible for a library fine waiver of up to $25.
Students in ACPS Summer Enrichment programs will spend time working on the ACPS Summer Reading Challenge as part of their program.