There is considerable evidence to show that in summer, students may lose some of the educational gain made during the previous academic year. One of the ways of combatting this setback is by encouraging Summer Reading. In view of this the Ministry for Education and Employment has embarked on an intensive campaign: Aqra fis-Sajf to promote Summer Reading. This will be a collaborative campaign by the National Literacy Agency, the Foundation for Educational Services, Malta Libraries and the Directorates of Education.
In this regard access to books is crucial. Arrangements have been made for the extended library opening times of regional and school libraries. A wide range of reading activities for children and their parents will be held during the Skolasajf programme and in libraries through the Aqra Miegħi/Read with Me, Seħer l-Istejjer/The Magic of Stories and Reading Ambassadors Programmes of the National Literacy Agency.
Research shows that:
- Students who read over the summer do better in school.
- Students who do not read over the summer demonstrate up to two months of academic loss.
- Students who read for fun outperform those who do not.
- Students read more when they can choose their own books.
- Reading at least five books over the summer can prevent academic loss.
- Summer reading loss is cumulative. By the end of Primary, children who do not read over the summer are two years behind the other children in academic achievement.
Use the following guidelines to promote summer reading with your kids:
- Stress the importance of summer reading with your child.
- Make reading exciting, do not think of it as a chore.
- Follow a reading list.
- Create a no TV or video game time during part of each day.
- Join a summer reading programme at Skolasajf or at your local library.
- Let your child choose his/her own books.
- Keep a supply of reading materials around the house.
- Go regularly to the library with children.
- Ask your child questions about the books s/he is reading.
- Read a book to your child.
- Listen to your child read to you.
- Pick a favourite author or series and read all the books.
- Listen to books on CD, ipod, radio, tablet while travelling.
- Model reading for your child.
In order to guide parents, caregivers, relatives and educators, the National Literacy Agency has provided the a suggested reading list for all ages: