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Akron, Ohio



City of Akron Press Release
Published: 05-26-2016

Akron, Ohio, May 23, 2016The City of Akron, with assistance from Akron Public Schools and Summit Education Initiative (SEI), has launched a summer reading program. The program will help Akron students - grades kindergarten through second grade practice their reading with support from a community volunteer, June 6 through      August 18.

 “The summer slide, or learning loss, that affects all students during the summer months contributes to our achievement gaps,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan.

“Our Summer Reading Program will be extremely helpful in preventing such a loss while preparing our kids for their upcoming academic year,” the Mayor added.

Akron City Council President Marilyn Keith remarked that, “the program has been on the minds and wish lists of many in the city for several years.” She applauded the efforts of Mayor Horrigan and Council-At-Large member, Jeff Fusco with supporting this initiative as part of the administration’s efforts to address equity in the areas of income, education and health.

Mayor Horrigan, Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James, and Summit Education Initiative Executive Director Derran Wimer shared their views of the program, along with its goals and objectives.

“As we look at this program holistically with SEI, all children suffer when not participating in reading activities during the summer months. This program will help us reach a different group of students who are not traditionally reached. It will also provide more opportunities for a larger number of students to keep on track,” shared Superintendent James.

Keith further added, “As a former school teacher, I believe we are in the right community to do something about the summer slide. We are a strong community of volunteers who know that practice makes permanent. This will help Akron students succeed when returning to school in the fall."

When reviewing why students grades kindergarten through second grade were selected as the target group of participants, Wimer pointed out, “the largest gains and the largest gaps in reading occur prior to the third grade year.”

Volunteers will be recruited and trained to help the children of our communities avoid any gaps in reading. Through their participation students will stay on track and prepared for the next school year. All volunteers will submit to a background check.

Trainings are scheduled at the following Community Learning Centers (CLC):  Kenmore (May 24), Firestone Park (May 26), Lawton Street (June 2), Joy Park (June 2) and Patterson Park (June 7). All trainings will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Summer reading sessions will be held weekly, in one-on-one reading sessions at Firestone Park (330/375-2806); Joy Park (330/375-2805); Kenmore (330/375-2812); Lawton Street (330/375-2825); Patterson Park (330/375-2819); and Summit Lake (330/375-2826). Parents are encouraged to contact the center near their home to enroll their children.

For further information, contact:
Christine R. Curry
Director of Communications
166 S. High Street, Akron, OH 44306
Phone: 330/375-2209
E-mail: [email protected]

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