MANCHESTER, NH — City schools are kicking off a new initiative which educators hope will keep students of all grades reading and learning during the summer months. The program, called “Booked for Summer,” is a school district-wide coordination of resources and learning goals that will touch every student.
“Our schools and teachers have always encouraged students to read during their time away from the classroom,” said superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas. “What’s different this summer is that we are collaborating community-wide to share ideas and set expectations for all of our students, no matter which school they attend.”
The Booked for Summer website provides learning resources, including recommended reading lists by grade level, goal trackers, and event calendars. The information covers pre-k through grade 12.
Preschool and elementary school students through grade four can participate in the Booked for Summer passport program, an ongoing activity in which children can visit various locations around Manchester and get their “passports” stamped for completing a goal. At the middle school level, students will establish learning goals and an outline for accomplishing them. Graduating fifth graders will be directed to the middle school section of the website. High school students – including rising ninth graders – will find links to articles related to the summer reading theme promoted by state libraries across the country. Peer-recommended books make up the high school summer reading lists.
Part of Booked for Summer’s launch includes a book drive for elementary schools. From now until June 9, members of the community can donate picture books and appropriate chapter books to any elementary school. They will be sorted and shared among all 14 schools to make sure that every child in preschool through fifth grade receives a book to bring home.
Community organizations and businesses are helping to promote Booked for Summer. Some have agreed to be passport locations, such as SEE Science Center, Amoskeag Fishwways, and the Currier Museum of Art. Students and families also can check the Booked for Summer website for information on learning activities and various summer reading reward programs like those sponsored by the Manchester City Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, among others.
“We appreciate when our partners use their influence to support education in Manchester and supplement our efforts,” said Dr. Vargas. “Working together, we can make a greater impact on our students and have a better chance of success in making summer reading a priority.”
The schools will officially introduce students to Booked for Summer in the last week of school, June 12-14. Printed materials will be provided and discussed before the students leave school for summer vacation.
Students and families are encouraged to use the #booked4summer hashtag on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share with the community what they’re reading and learning.