UPDATE: As a part of Read On Arizona’s Summer Reading kickoff, some lucky Arizona students heard Olympic champion figure skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, read from her new book Dream Big, Little Pig. Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundationinspires underserved children to reach for their dreams through innovative reading programs and by advancing the cause of early childhood literacy.” We’re excited that the Foundation has recently begun expanding their work to impact students in Arizona.

Kristi Yamaguchi reads to Arizona students.

May 22 - Pinterest Original Post: The school year has ended, and the long, hot Arizona summer is here. In addition to the challenge of keeping cool, students who do not read consistently over the summer months can lose momentum in improving their reading skills and may not retain the progress they made during the school year; this is known as “summer slide.”

The Arizona Summer Reading Program – a statewide collaboration of schools, public libraries and state and local agencies working together under the banner of Read On Arizona – encourages children and families to read for 20 minutes a day throughout the summer so they’ll increase or maintain their reading levels they worked so hard to achieve. Studies show that the amount of time spent reading makes significant contribution to vocabulary, general knowledge, spelling and verbal fluency.

Participating in the Arizona Summer Reading Program is a simple thing you can do to help kids improve their reading skills, vocabulary and develop a love of books. It can help prevent the summer slide for students, and younger children will benefit, too, as reading with infants, toddlers and preschoolers builds the language and pre-reading skills that are the foundation of school success. For very young children and struggling readers, the 20 minutes can be spread throughout the day.

Ready to get started? It’s easy. Visit your local library to sign up and get help finding books your child will love.

  • For more information on Summer Reading, visit ReadOnArizona.org.
  • To find out how your kids can download books for free all summer, click here.
  • Find more ways to show your support for students & teachers Today and every day at TodayInAZ.org.