Students stock up on reading materials to combat the ‘summer slide’

School’s out for the summer, and that means no more pencils and no more books. But wait—there are books. For the second year in a row, Half Price Books has donated 5,000 books to students at the Wharton K–8 Academy so they can take part in the district’s Millionaire Club.

The Millionaire Club is a coordinated effort between HISD’s Library Services and Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment departments to keep kids reading over the summer break in order to combat the “summer slide,” or the loss of academic skills many students experience after three months of inactivity. If a student reads and records five books on a log, then they become a member of the club and are eligible for recognition and prizes when they return to school in the fall.

“During the summer, students can lose up to two months of learning due to summer learning loss,” said Liz Philippi, manager of Library Services. “This can be prevented by simply reading at least five books during the summer.”

Over at Wharton, a small army of parent volunteers gathered during the last few weeks of school to sort through the books and create a pop-up bookstore so children could make their selections. On the last day, students perused the display of books and received assistance from teachers and parents with choosing titles suitable for them. They also received advice on how to use and care for a personal library.

Wharton is one of several schools to receive community assistance with providing books for HISD students to read over the summer. Books Between Kids, an organization created by two HISD moms, donated about 90,000 books to 15,000 students in 24 schools. Three schools also received books from Castro’s Kids, which was created by Houston Astros player Jason Castro and his wife, Maris.

For more information about the Millionaire Club, please click here.