Let's Make Summer Learning Experiences Joyful, Rich and Rewarding

Dear Friends,

These are momentous times. It is more important than ever before that our children become lifelong readers, writers and learners. The world is organized best for those who communicate well, who have the tools to seek out knowledge, who gain comfort from a good read, and who can relate well to others through powerful writing, speaking and listening skills. This summer we need to make the commitment that every child deserves: a summer where he or she can grow into a lifelong reader, writer, speaker and listener.

These are challenging times. Our children may become overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of information in the world and what they are expected to do. Yet they know it matters to read with stamina, fluency and comprehension. They know it matters to write well and to speak and listen in ways that connect them to a community. This summer we need to make the commitment that rigor can mean joy and that joy can mean rigor, and that with beautiful texts and great lessons, every child can become a super reader.

Too often summer school is a really hard place for a child to go, being indoors, feeling cut off from the fun of summer, trying to play “catch-up” or to do work that seems disconnected from the dreams in his or her mind.

We need to create an antidote to this idea of summer school. We need to infuse a powerful sense of joy and fun and learning into every child’s life so that the promise of 365 days of reading, writing, speaking and listening belongs to every child. It is what we should demand. It is what every child deserves.

  1. Life-changing: Every child -- of every reading level -- should have the opportunity to experience the transformation that happens when reading becomes integral to one’s life.
  2. Strength-building: Students need books that enhance the 7 Strengths that are deep within every child. We need to nourish these strengths and values and the social-emotional capacities of every child and their connections to learning, reading and writing. Belonging. Curiosity. Friendship. Kindness. Confidence. Courage. Hope.
  3. Literacy-developing: Summer reading should be carefully built and lovingly created in the spirit of authentic literature -- the great books that mean so much to children and help them discover and develop strong identities as learners while cultivating a deep and everlasting love of reading and writing. A well-structured and meticulously developed summer program should support all teachers in taking children through a literacy journey, a profoundly life-impacting journey.

This summer let’s make the learning experience joyful, rich and rewarding for student and teacher alike. Let’s turn an ordinary summer into an extraordinary one, turning every child into a super reader, super writer, super learner.

Sincerely,

Pam Allyn