Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is proud to join Governor Pat Quinn and Christopher Koch, superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education, in encouraging parents to check out a valuable Web site aimed at keeping children reading during the upcoming summer months when school is not in session.
The Find-a-Book Web site, www.lexile.com/findabook, has quick and easy access to a list of books that will match a child’s reading level and interests, as well as the nearest libraries carrying each title.
The Find-a-Book site uses a student’s reading score in Lexiles, a measure of reading ability and text difficulty derived from state standardized tests, including the ISAT. The Web site features a search option to access appropriate book choices based on grade level and comfort with typical reading materials at that grade level.
Research has shown the powerful impact of continued reading over the summer. One study found that children can lose up to 60 percent of their skills during a two-month vacation. Children who read during the summer months, however, can sustain their reading gains and are better prepared for learning when the school bell rings again in the fall.
Secretary White also encourages parents to talk with children about the fun and importance of summer reading and take them to the local public library. Librarians have useful information about Lexiles and other programs such as the iREAD program, a summer reading program offered through the Illinois Library Association (ILA).
The 2011 iREAD Summer Reading Program theme is A Midsummer Knight's Read. Local library iREAD programming will include activities, games, art, reading lists and much more for children, teens and adults. Check it out at your local public library or go to the ILA iREAD Web site at http://www.ila.org/iread/iread-summer-reading-program.