Help Your Kids Avoid The “Summer Slide” With These Tips From Henrico County Public Schools

summer slide As summer break approaches (or has already arrived for many families), parents often worry about the negative effects of the coming months on their children’s learning, also known as the summer slide. Summer can be a long time to be out of a learning environment, making the transition back to school in the fall a difficult one for some children. Thankfully, there are many ways to help kids stay focused and on track even when summer stretches ahead. The Henrico County Public Shcool system has identified reading as one of the simplest and most powerful tools we can use to help continue our kids’ education throughout the summer and prevent the dreaded summer slide.

“Summer slide” isn’t a piece of playground equipment – it’s the tendency for students to lose some of the progress they’ve made during the academic year.

However, there are ways to keep your students’ reading skills sharp – and have fun – all summer long. Go to Henrico Schools’ summer reading page at for reading lists, tips for keeping your student engaged, and links to resources.
“This summer, your students can go on adventures, laugh until their sides hurt, meet new people, learn something mindblowing, find their passions and let their imaginations go wild,” said Shannon Hyman, HCPS’ specialist for library services. “Where can they do all that? In books. The best way to beat summer slide is to make sure students have stacks of books, and the chance to get lost in a great read.”

Here are a few of the tips from our summer reading page, provided by HCPS’ Library Services Department:

– Read aloud together with your student every day, at every age
– Play reading bingo! Find bingo cards at our summer reading page.
– Road-tripping this summer? Borrow audiobooks and listen as a family.
– Before vacationing, get books about your destination. Planning a trip to the Outer Banks? Visit your library to get nonfiction books about lighthouses! See if there are any fiction books available that incorporate lighthouses. Read and discuss these books on the way there, and visit an actual lighthouse or two.
– Pick up some great magazines to enjoy in the car, at the pool, or under a tree! Magazines are gateways to other reading and foster visual literacy.
– Explore Henrico County Public Library locations. Each local library has dedicated spaces and programming for children and teens. Go on a tour and see which spaces are your favorite. Be sure to check out their great programs, activities, and events. Your school librarian will be working with public libraries to share summer reading activities, assignments, lists and opportunities with all students. Be sure to check out Henrico County Public Library’s summer reading program, at
– Remember, if you want your student to read, give them ample opportunities to see YOU reading, too!

About Henrico County Public Schools

Henrico County Public Schools is committed to every student by communicating a vision of inclusiveness: “The right to achieve. The support to succeed.” The school division also embraces four critical cornerstones: Student Safety and Wellness, Academic Growth, Equity and Opportunity, and Relationships. As the sixth largest public school division in Virginia, HCPS is comprised of 72 schools and program centers serving more than 50,000 students. Learn more about HCPS here.

Content for this article was provided by Henrico County Public Schools.