We all know that summer reading is an important part of our goal to help every student see reading as enjoyable and useful. As a school district, we want to encourage your child to read and we want to assist your family in selecting books and magazines of high quality and interest. The Cheshire Public Schools does not mandate required titles or authors unless a specific high school Advanced Placement syllabus requires it. Instead, we encourage students to select topics and authors of individual interest.
We ask that every Grade 4-8 student read a minimum of three books over the summer. We encourage younger students to read more than three books, to reread familiar stories, and to listen to their parent during read aloud sessions. Of course, with students entering kindergarten and Grade 1, we encourage parents to read 3-4 books aloud daily to their child. Parents should use their children’s individual reading levels, prior reading experiences, attitudes toward reading, and their interests to select “just right” books for each child. Classroom teachers can advise parents about the appropriate reading level.
Parents of students who will be attending Dodd Middle School next year should consult this link for specific Dodd summer reading requirements. Parents of CHS students can consult this link for more information about the high school’s summer reading plan.
We have several other additional resources and services that you may find useful as you help your child choose books and plan a daily reading schedule.
Parents and students can consult this link to register and record their summer reading selections that are sponsored by the Cheshire Town library. Any printed logs should be given to classroom teachers when students return to school. We ask parents to add their signature to this log or list at the end of the summer. In the fall, classroom teachers will conduct book sharing and “book talk” opportunities that allow students to discuss their books with their teachers and peers.
Parents and students can consult this link for information about the Governor’s Reading Challenge. This link also provides grade level specific author and title recommendations from the Connecticut library. Again, these text are not required reading, but parents and children may find the lists useful as they begin their browsing and selection process.
Parents and students may also enjoy choosing a book from the list of awarded and nominated Nutmeg books.
We ask parents to support and monitor their children’s summer reading. Reading a few pages a day, every day, for 10-20 minutes, produces better results than waiting until the middle of August to begin. Students in grades K-3 also benefit from frequent “read alouds” by their parents. Parent participation in book selection ensures that each book won’t be too hard or too easy, especially for younger children. It also assures that the book’s theme and content is age appropriate and respects the family’s values and interests.
Family conversations about newspaper stories, magazine articles, and recreational reading also encourage positive attitudes toward reading and support the transfer of learned reading strategies. Here are some suggestions to help your children engage in summer reading on their own, and make it fun for the family too:
- Set a regular time each day to read.Create a refrigerator reading graph and award a sticker for each book read.
- Have a family book sharing night once a week.
- Plan regular visits to the public library.
- Share and discuss newspaper or magazine articles on current events topics.
- Rent or see a movie version of a book children have read – compare how and why they liked one more than the other.
We wish you a wealth of wonderful reading opportunities and a restful summer. Your continued support with summer reading is appreciated! Please call the Office of Curriculum and Instruction (203-250-2439) or your child’s school to ask questions or to share your comments. We encourage you to visit the Cheshire Public Library this summer. The librarians there are looking forward to helping all of Cheshire’s students find and choose many memorable reading selections.
Marlene M. Silano
K-8 Curriculum Coordinator