Tuesday, July 3, 2012

She's Back.............And So is Summer Reading in Outreach

Welcome back Carmella Morrison. Carmella is working as a summer contract worker in the Outreach Department with one purpose only...to make sure at-risk students in underserved communities participate in the Library's Summer Reading Program. In a 2011 report by the New York State Library, “The Importance of Summer Reading" Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “devastating.” He further stated, "This is what researchers have often referred to as the “summer slide.” It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected." In, "Summer Reading Programs Boost Student Achievement, Study Says," a School Library Journal Article (November 2010) stated, "Students who take part in their local library’s summer reading program significantly improve their reading skills." Charlotte Mecklenburg Library understands this achievement gap and the need to bring the library services to the community. Carmella visits several summer camps each week. She gives the students a wonderful literacy experience, which gets them excited about reading and books and she makes sure they are enrolled in the summer reading program and prepared to successfully complete the program. Successfully completing the program means children will have access to books and read for at least twenty minutes per day.

This year's summer reading program is on line, and the majority of the student's Carmella is serving do not have access to a computer or the Internet at home or in summer camp. When Carmella asked the students at the YWCA Reid Park location if they recorded their reading time on their reading record, ALL of the students stated they did not have a computer at home. Carmella made sure she recorded  what every student read,  how long they read, and she will manually update each student's reading record. Outreach services creates opportunities and access.

Carmella Morrison in a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is interested in pursuing her Master's Degree in Library Science. For more information on Outreach Services contact 704.416.0558 or visit http://www.cmlibrary.org/Youth/.

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