New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
June 8, 2016

How to Avoid the Summer Slide

Summer ReadingWith the start of summer just around the corner, kids are going to be school-free for nearly three whole months. This may lead to beaches, sand, and sun tans, but it may also lead to what those in education call the summer slide. This means that some of the strides your kiddos made in the past year might disappear due to lack of academic challenges. So how do you fight this dastardly detractor? Reading! Research shows that these three habits can turn any summer into a mind-enriching season. 

1.  Six to Success: Challenge your kid to read at least six books over the course of the summer. It evens out to only two per month!
2.  Daily Reading: Make a ritual out of reading. Whether it's a daily newspaper article or chapters of a book, make sure your kids practice every day. 
3.  Reading Aloud: Turn reading into a family activity by reading out loud as a group. This gives you some valuable family time, while allowing your kids to practice their public speaking skills.


Captain Cook!
Captain Cook, one of Mr. Popper's Penguins! Photo: Helen Murray.

Many of the shows gracing The New Victory's stage next season have been translated directly from page to stage (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Elephant & Piggie's We are in a Play, The Way Back Home, Oh Boy!Grug and the Rainbow). If your kids are looking for a bit of reading inspiration, check them out of your local library before visiting the New Vic! Unsure of where your local library is? You can find one nearby here.

Have your kids already explored The Nautilus or met all of Mr. Popper's penguins? Don't let them stop there! Our friends over at Scholastic have created an engaging way to incentivize your young readers over the summer. Called the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, it's designed to help kids acheive the summer leap instead of suffering the summer slide. This year, their theme is becoming a more confident independent reader by transforming into "A Reading Superhero." The best part of all of this? It's free! Start your kids on the Summer Reading Challenge here

To give you a quick preview of Scholastic's challenge, a few of the books they recommend are listed below by age:

Ages 0-2
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jerman
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle

Ages 3-5
Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray & Jim Field
Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong & John Parra
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio & Christian Robinson

Ages 6-7
8: An Animal Alphabet by Elisha Cooper
Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive! by Jack Chabert & Sam Ricks
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

Ages 8-10
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack

Ages 11-13
Kalahari by Jessica Khoury
George by Alex Gino
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

The 2016-17 Season! What other books would you recommend for kids this summer? Make sure to leave them in the comments!

Posted by Beth Henderson
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