067A2335May 28, 2015

MDE partners with Mississippi Library Commission and Miss Mississippi to Promote Summer Reading 

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education, in partnership with the Mississippi Library Commission, is working to promote summer reading to help students avoid the “summer slide.”

“Teachers often talk about the “summer slide” that happens when children don’t keep up their reading habits over the summer,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “That is why it is so important for children to keep up the momentum over the summer to maintain and strengthen their reading skills. This is particularly important for children as they develop their reading skills in PreK through the 3rd grade.”

Children who do not read over the summer lose up to three months of reading achievement. This causes teachers to spend valuable instructional time re-teaching material students have forgotten over the summer.

Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray is also partnering with the MDE to promote summer reading. Murray is the spokesperson for the MDE’s literacy awareness campaign, Strong Readers=Strong Leaders. The Strong Readers=Strong Leaders campaign aims to promote literacy throughout a child’s education by equipping families, students and educators with resources to develop reading skills at school and at home.

“Good reading skills are absolutely essential for every child’s success,” Murray said. “Without the foundation of literacy, I would never have achieved the Miss Mississippi crown, competed in the Miss America pageant or had the courage to sing on American Idol. I’m now in college and involved in encouraging all of Mississippi’s children to develop strong reading skills.”

Murray joined Wright and Susan Cassagne, executive director of the Mississippi Library Commission, at Eudora Welty Library in Jackson on Thursday to kick off Mississippi’s Summer Reading Program.

Every library in Mississippi is participating in the 2015 Summer Reading Program, which centers on the theme “Every Hero Has a Story to Tell.” Local libraries around the state have planned various reading events for children throughout the summer.

Librarians dressed as superheroes joined Murray at Thursday’s event, during which Murray read to preschoolers for story time.

“Books open up a world of adventure for children,” Cassagne said. “The summer is a great time for families to explore all that our libraries have to offer.”

To find a library in your community, visit the Mississippi Library Commission at www.mlc.lib.ms.us.

To learn more about Strong Readers=Strong Leaders, visit strongreadersms.com.

To view the Strong Readers=Strong Leaders public service announcement, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTiBiO22V5U