Reading Rocks program at Hills in Mingo Junction

MINGO JUNCTION — Elementary students within the Indian Creek Local School District can help stave off the summer slide by taking part in annual Reading Rocks program.

The free event will be held on June 11-July 25 at Hills Elementary in Mingo Junction, but it will be closed during the week of July 4 to observe the Independence Day holiday. District students in grades K-6 may attend on Tuesday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and transportation and meals will be provided.

Nicole McDonald, district director of curriculum and instruction, said Reading Rocks has been held for the past seven years to help students maintain their literacy skills while class is not in session.

“We will do some small-group lessons based on their reading needs. It is targeted reading intervention,” she explained. “We take end-of-year data, look at the students’ reading needs and tailor the intervention based on those needs.”

About 80 children were registered and district teachers will lead the sessions. McDonald added that Orton Gillingham reading intervention program will also be provided while the Village Network will visit and offer counseling services throughout the summer. The goal is to prevent what is known as the summer reading slide and the results have been positive.

“Our studies have shown that students who attend the Reading Rocks program displayed less regression than those students who did not attend, according to our fall testing. It keeps students actively reading throughout the summer and leads a seamless transition between spring and fall, plus we use the same program throughout the year.”

Officials still encourage students and parents to read to each other every day and said just 10 minutes spent looking at books, newspapers or billboards would make a difference in combating regression. But McDonald hopes kids do take advantage of the program.

“The teachers do a nice job with Reading Rocks and the kids seem to enjoy it. It’s a pressure-free time to learn.”

The program will conclude with a pool party at Aracoma Community Park. To register, call McDonald at the district office at 740-264-3502, ext. 115.