In the Classroom

Libraries fight to curb 'summer slide'

It's called the summer slide — that time year when students are out of school and tend not to read books. The result is that many students lose some of the reading ground they've made through the academic year.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries is piloting a program to stop the summer slide. Two public school libraries — at Desert Sage Elementary in Meridian School District and Wilson Elementary in Caldwell School District — will be open this summer for kids to keep up on their reading.

Desert Sage, at 9325 W. Mossywood Drive in Boise, will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wilson Elementary School, at 400 E. Linden St. in Caldwell, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. The program ends Aug. 7.

The two Treasure Valley libraries each received a $1,500 stipend in federal money to operate the pilot. The money comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The school libraries are among six participating in the program statewide. At least 60 percent of the students at each school come from low income homes.

Roger Stewart, a Boise State University literacy professor, will work with the commission to determine how effective the program was by analyzing reading scores from the Idaho Reading Indicator.