Detroit Public Schools, LitWorld and Detroit Public Library launch new DPS summer reading initiative: Everything Literacy!

Detroit Public Library & Detroit Public Schools to work together to ensure that every DPS student has a library card

library card campaign flyer_Page_1To combat the “Summer Learning Slide,” the learning loss that happens when children are not engaged in reading during pivotal out-of-school time, Detroit Public Schools, the non-profit LitWorld and the Detroit Public Library are announcing a new district-wide summer reading initiative called Everything Literacy! to keep kids engaged with learning throughout the summer.

The Everything Literacy! initiative engages a variety of strategies to accomplish this goal, including a first-ever LitCamp in conjunction with LitWorld, Accelerated Reader online reading quizzes, and free books for many students, with support from Scholastic Inc.

Through this new partnership, the Detroit Public Library also will work with Detroit Public Schools to ensure that every DPS student has a library card and access to the world of fun and educational resources that a library card provides.  The Library will also work with DPS families to ease existing fees and fines on their child’s library record that keep many students from full use of the Library.

Activities for the Lit Fest

LitFest Flyer

Library Card Information

Library Card Campaign flyer and Card Application

Everything Literacy! seeks to challenge students to read throughout the summer to ensure they are ready to learn on the first day of school this fall,” said Dr. Deborah Winston, Executive Director of the DPS Office of Literacy.  “Research shows that children lose the academic skills they learned throughout the school year if they don’t keep their skills sharp and continue reading throughout the summer.”

A renowned 2007 study by Johns Hopkins University researchers that documented the “Summer Learning Slide” showed that while impoverished children progressed in reading at rates comparable with middle-income students during the school year, reading skills slipped away during the summer among low-income students. The researchers found that the achievement gap in ninth grade can be traced mostly to the differences in summer learning between those two groups throughout the elementary years.

library card campaign flyer_Page_2“The Detroit Public Library understands the importance of summer reading to ensure academic success.  Through this partnership, the Library and DPS will nurture a love of reading that will serve these students for a lifetime,” said Jo Anne Mondowney, Executive Director of the Detroit Public Library.

Pam Allyn, Executive Director of LitWorld and renowned literacy expert, author and speaker, has worked full force to combat the Summer Learning Slide.

“Reading matters so much to a student’s lifetime academic achievement, in fact, that even a summer away from nearness to books and experiences with reading has a detrimental impact on our children,” she said. “By sixth grade, the Summer Learning Slide can account for 80% of the achievement gap.”

This summer, Allyn and the LitWorld team are collaborating with DPS to run the first-ever DPS Summer LitCamp, a literacy and enrichment program designed by LitWorld specifically to combat the Summer Learning Slide. DPS, LitWorld, with support from Scholastic Inc., will also host a community-wide LitFest, an intergenerational reading celebration, in late July. LitWorld is dedicated to working with DPS to give children in the district the tools they need to stay on track this summer, and well into the future.

“LitClub and LitCamp programming cultivate a new generation of leaders, storytellers and academic achievers, effecting change for themselves, their community, and their world,” Allyn said. “We truly value our relationship with Detroit Public Schools, as we work together to create positive literacy outcomes for the wonderful children of this great city.”

The Everything Literacy! program includes:

  • A first-ever community LitFest to be held across all 37 schools holding summer school on Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The LitFest will include group writing activities, oral story sharing, live storytellers, and a distribution of 7,000 books to participants; Click to see the  Summer School LitFest Sites!
  • A free book for thousands of DPS children to take home through partnerships with LitWorld and Scholastic Inc.;
  • A new partnership with the Detroit Public Library to ensure that every DPS student has a library card.  The Library will also work with DPS families to ease existing fees and fines on their child’s library record that keep many students from full use of the Library;
  • Access to Accelerated Reader Quizzes in Detroit Public Libraries thanks to a partnership with the Detroit Public Library. Parents and students received reminders prior to the end of the academic year and during the summer school session;
  • An Accelerated Reader Contest open to students of grades 1 – 6, sponsored by the Office of Literacy. Contest winners will receive books and the sixth-grade winner will receive a NOOK;
  • DPS’ first-ever LitCamp in partnership with LitWorld at Marcus Garvey Academy — a one week camp engaging 60 female students in reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities. Campers will also participate in activities such as vocal music, scrapbooking, and yoga. Through the innovative combination of active literacy support, community building, and interactive lessons that span a variety of disciplines and interests, LitCamps provide children with a fun, joyous, and safe way to learn and grow academically and personally and to see the value of a reading culture while creating one together;
  • A one week writing camp for DPS students in grades 3 – 12 through a partnership with the Office of Literacy and the Meadowbrook Writing Project of Oakland University. The fee is $100. Camp dates are:
    • July 14-18, 3-5th grade
    • July 14-18, 6-8th grade
    • July 21-25, 3-5th grade
    • July 21-25, 6-8th grade
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