Graduations this weekend will mark the end of another long school year.
However, parents should try and make sure their children continue learning over the summer break.
Specifically, parents should keep their children reading over the summer.
There are a number of ways parents can do this.
Local libraries, including the Gloversville and Johnstown libraries, are offering summer reading programs.
The program at Johnstown is open to children of all abilities in preschool through those entering 12th grade. All programming is free, though some programs require pre-registration.
There are two levels of participation in the summer reading program - companion readers, who are non-independent readers who will be read to for a minimum of six hours during the summer program, and independent readers, who are asked to read a minimum of 10 hours during the summer program. Kids who finish the program by reading the minimum number of hours will receive a certificate and a free book.
Typically, presentations and other activities - such as music performances and magic acts - are coordinated to match the theme of the program. The activities can make it easier to keep children interested in reading.
It's important for all children to keep reading over the summer, but especially disadvantaged students.
According to information from the New York State Library, it is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected.
While that shows how critical reading is, all educational activities over the summer are worthwhile. A trip to a museum - such as the Fulton County Museum in Gloversville - is a wonderful opportunity for students to continue learning. A program like FM's Summer Academy - where students can participate in workshops on a variety of different subjects - is another way to keep students learning.
Parents, teach your children well: Summer does not mean they get to stop learning.