Old Town Summer Reading Program 

Wayne Harvey

As the school year winds down, kids are looking forward to a summer of no more teachers and no more books.But at the Old Town Elementary School, teachers sent the students off on their final day with a homework assignment.This is the fourth year they’ve had a summer program, according to school Principal Jeanna Tuell, ” What we found is over the summer our students really regress a lot in reading so we had to come up with a plan to really excite them to read over the summer and sustain what they’ve gained all through the school year.”The plan is a challenge for all 530 kids in the school to read a combined three hundred thousand minutes. Last year they fell short of the goal in terms of minutes, but not in hooking kids like 3rd Grader Emma Hargreaves on reading. “I probably got started last summer in really loving to read in the Warrior Series. I read Into The Wild and it was a really good book and I’ve read really well since then.””My favorite book would probably be the Magic Tree House Series”, said 3rd Grader Zach Folstun. ” I like how it’s gives you, it’s fantasy but sometimes it will give you facts.””The best part about reading would probably be, I’m in another world and when I’m in my book I’m in my book, I’m not just reading, I’m in my book. I like getting into the stories,” said Hargreaves.”When kids escape into a book it can be a positive way of disengaging from something in their own world,” said Tuell “And finding a new world that’s appropriate for them to engage in.”The teachers hope that escape brings them back to school ready to learn in the fall.