EMMETT-- To help kids from forgetting what they learned during the school year, a summer reading program brings books to children who may not have access to them otherwise.
The program is called "A Book and a Bite." It combines a free weekly summer lunch program with fun books and learning experiences. Reading volunteers from Hewlett-Packard and Oasis Worship Center lunch providers welcomed about 150 kids Wednesday to participate in Emmett. A volunteer says this is all to help keep kids away from what is known as the "summer slide" - where kids start to forget what they learned over the school year.
Volunteer Hayley Regan said, "There's definitely that summer slide which is what we're targeting. We base some of our project on the Idaho Reading Indicator scores, looking at them from spring to fall and when there's a big slide in reading score-research has shown that a child reading even five books during the summer can decrease that slide."
Regan says funding for the program comes from the Treasure Valley Educational Partnership, but volunteers are a big factor in its success.
Kids who participate in the event also get to take home a book of their own! These books are provided by the United Way of Treasure Valley's spring book drive.
"All the kids who participate get to go home with a book of their own, choosing one that they're interested in that they want to read about. So we want to make them passionate about reading," Regan explained.
The program meets at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 9 at Emmett City Park. It meets at the same time on Thursdays in Kuna at Reed Elementary School through Aug. 3.
For more information, head to the summer program's Facebook page.