The YMCA of Coastal Georgia recently hosted the second annual Celebrate Reading Day to promote literacy across its many locations and to help tackle the summer slide.
This event originated at the Golden Isles YMCA in 2017. This year, the day-long event was hosted July 17 at all 10 YMCA of Coastal Georgia locations.
The program welcomed many community leaders and YMCA members, who stopped by their local location and read one of their favorite children’s books aloud to summer day campers and Child Learning Center students.
Forty-nine volunteers logged 20 hours of reading to 296 children across the 10 locations.
Some local readers included Virginia Brown, president and CEO of the United Way of Coastal Georgia, and former Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson.
“Quality programming is essential for the on-going success of our children,” said Joel Smoker, president & CEO of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, in a press release. “Celebrate Reading Day is just one of the many ways that (the) Y is working to close the achievement gap and engage our local students during the crucial summer months.”
The event aims to help prevent the summer slide, which refers to the loss of learning progress students will experience during their months of inactivity when school is out for the summer.
The average summer learning loss for low-income students is an average of two months of reading skills, while their higher-income peers make slight gain, according to a study from the RAND Corporation.
The Y aims to provide quality, affordable programs for children during the summer. Summer day campers participate daily in the Y Camp Readers program, through which they log a minimum of 20 minutes of reading. Children enrolled in the Y’s Quality Rated Child Learning Center are engaged in a variety of reading and language development activities as part of their daily curriculum.