SPONSORED: How to Help Your Kids Avoid the Summer Slide

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With summer in full swing, the 2022-2023 Pulaski County Special School District Teacher of the Year Ben Light offers tips for families to help students avoid the summer slide.

“The ‘summer slide’ refers to the learning loss that many students experience during the summer months,” Light says. “This loss is especially prevalent among younger students and students in low-income families. It’s imperative to work hard during the summer to avoid a significant learning loss over those summer months.”


Tip #1: Read

Reading is essential. And, like any skill, it must be practiced. Children are more likely to read content they find interesting and where they see themselves represented. Guided reading is key to helping children grow in their reading comprehension. Consider choosing a book to read as a family. Reading together is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones and strengthen relationships while promoting a text-rich household. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is an awesome resource for families. CALS offers in-person and virtual opportunities for families at no cost.

Light’s favorite book: “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawl


Tip #2: Play games

Play is essential for students’ ability to learn to think dynamically and creatively. Word games (e.g. Scrabble, Scattergories, Words With Friends) are fun tools that help students develop vocabulary skills and text comprehension without it feeling like a tutoring session. Playing games helps students develop the social skills needed to engage in meaningful collaboration with their peers.

Light’s favorite games: Catch Phrase and Clue


Tip #3: Go outside 

Summer is an excellent time for students to unplug from their devices and technology. Unstructured playtime outdoors is critical to students developing imagination and learning to navigate the natural world around them. Spending time outdoors helps ease students’ anxiety by helping them feel grounded. Take advantage of our city and state parks located here in central Arkansas. Pinnacle State Park hosts free activities for students throughout the summer and provides students with hands-on educational experiences that greatly support their traditional school learning.

Light’s favorite outdoor activity: Gardening, particularly with native plants

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