Summer Reading program helps students develop skills

Published 12:15 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Institute of Reading Development and Auburn University are partnering to help students entering kindergarten through 12th grades become better readers this summer.

“We are an educational service provider and we teach the summer reading programs on behalf of Auburn,” Josh Kizner of the Institute of Reading Development said.

The nearest physical location for the classes will be in Prattville. However, there is an online version of the program as well.

The goal of both programs is to help students “become a better reader, work to develop their skill level by meeting where they are at right now and giving them things they need to progress,” Kizner said.

Class offerings are divided by several grade groupings to ensure students are receiving age appropriate help.

Kizner said beginning elementary grades focus on phonics. Older elementary students focus on how to sound out longer and more difficult words, determine meaning in context and reading to increase knowledge.

Middle school and high school programs focus on “advanced nonfiction skills, textbook skills … reading and discussing more in-depth age appropriate fiction,” Kizner said.

The program also hopes to increase a student’s enjoyment of reading.

“Reading was a formative part of my life. It was something I loved doing as a child, and because I loved it I became very committed and it brought me a lot of success,” Kizner said. “I want everyone out there to be able to have that same experience both enjoyment and success.”

Seating for the physical classrooms is limited, but the online course has an unlimited capacity.

The online class gives access to videos of teacher’s instructions, interactive activities and reading books.

Both versions of the program include a box of books shipped to the child’s home.

“We think that sitting down and holding that book in your hand is an important part of becoming a reader,” Kizner said.

Registration is open for the online program and materials could be to a child as early as June 5.

“It is a go-at-your-own-pace program and a family could complete the course at whatever pace works for them,” Kizner said.

For more information about either program, call 1-800-903-0942.

Cost for the online program is about $250 plus sales tax. The cost for the classroom program is $337 plus sales tax. Cost for the kindergarten programs is about $50 less.

Kizner encouraged parents considering the program to “ask yourself whether you think your child will be reading enough over the course of the summer without a program of some kind whether it’s ours or someone else’s,” Kizner said.

He said students often forget some of what they learned in school over the summer because they “do not keep their brains active academically.”

“If they aren’t reading, they aren’t going to be ready for the next school year,” Kizner said.

Although the summer reading program has been offered by the Institute of Reading Development since the 1970s, he partnership with Auburn began in 2010.