Combating the ‘summer slide’: Website will provide reading list, books for students in summer

SAN BENITO — Hopefully this summer, the students of San Benito CISD will have thousands of books at their digital disposal.

In an effort to combat what is known as the “summer slide,” Superintendent Adrian Vega proposed the use of online library full of books to be used by students in pre-kindergarten all the way through eighth grade.

By using a website called myON, students can remain engaged for the three months they are not in school.

Vega said myON is like Netflix but for books.

The online database that is used by school district all over the state allow children to pick and choose what kind of books they want to read.

Students will log on and take an assessment to determine their reading level and interests, Vega said.

From there, students will also get notification after they finish a book of other books “you might also like.”

The website has about 6,000 books, making the children the controller of their summer reading list.

“Research shows that if kids read at least five books over the summer, that helps deter the summer slide,” Vega said.

San Benito, if approved by the board would be the first district in the area to use this online database.

For the students who don’t have access to internet at home, Vega plans to meet with city leaders in the hopes of partnering up to use the library as a source for students.

There students will be able to use library computers for their summer reading.

“We still need to work out those details,” Vega said.

The district, in an effort to obtain internet connections for students plan to partner with churches, community organizations and other entities willing to help in this initiative.

For the fall, Vega wants to make sure the program is a staple at every campus. That way the students will be able to use myON all year long.

So that students can have access to the internet, download the books and take them home, Vega said it would be great if the district could purchase Amazon Kindle Fires at $53 each for the 7,500 student who would be accessing myOn.

What happens to children during the summer?

During the summer months, disadvantaged children tread water at best or even fall behind. It is what is called the “Summer Slide.”

Better off children build their skills steadily over the summer months

Summer learning loss accounts for about two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap in reading.