July 4th has come and gone, but during the holiday, NBC reported Americans celebrated by:
Traveling: 43 million Americans traveled this Independence Day weekend. This represents the highest fourth of July travel volume on record.
Eating: approximately 150 million hot dogs were consumed as 64% of Americans attended a barbeque or picnic, according to Wallethub.
Shopping: the National Retail Federation predicted $6.8 billion spent celebrating the July 4 holiday this year.
At CLiF, we were preparing for the busiest six weeks in our calendar. As CLiF readers, you probably know about ‘summer slide,’ when many children, especially those from low-income families, experience a disturbing decline in their reading skills over the school break. You probably also know that CLiF’s Summer Readers program aims to prevent the summer slide by partnering with community organizations to reach young readers at greatest risk through storytelling and free books for each child.
CLiF celebrates summer by:
Traveling: CLiF presenters hit the road visiting 105 summer sites, driving roughly 5691 miles (or a round trip from Waterbury Center, VT to San Francisco!)
Eating: Many of the Summer Readers locations also serve as summer meals sites.
Shopping: This year, over 6,250 kids will sit under or in a tree, on the grass or on the waterfront, with two brand new books of their choice. That is about $134,375 worth of books!
Here is what a typical Summer Readers day looks like – no fireworks*, but plenty of reasons to celebrate.
On July 6th, Duncan traveled to Mary Johnson Children’s Center/School Age Programs, three full-day summer camps in Middlebury, Vergennes, and Bristol, VT reaching about 180 kids. “The children are in a balancing act, with pressures that are economic, environmental and social. Our program seeks to assist, even for a short span of time every day, to give relaxation, rest and time for developing resilient responses and joyful, authentic growth from experiences with their peers and caring adult staffers. We strive to find things to add as asset-making for many children who many times are fending for themselves emotionally, to provide respect for who they are and what they need.”
Meanwhile in New Hampshire, Simon Brooks went to the Russell Elementary School in Rumney. “RES Summer Program meets 4 days a week for the month of July. The summer program serves students who are identified as needing intervention in reading, writing, and math according to benchmarking and classroom assessments. All participating students are invited based on not meeting norm predicted adequate annual growth.” The program also serves students from Wentworth Elementary School. The community impact of CLiF is far-reaching; Wentworth just finished the Year of the Book while Rumney’s Year of the Book kicks off with this Summer Readers event.
Their application summed up what CLiF tries to do: “CLiF Summer Reader provides a summer connection to fuel more reading, raise the level of excitement about quality literature, and maintain communication and support between school and families.”
The celebrations continue right up until the start of school, and we invite you to attend an event near you.
*Over 15,000, fireworks displays did happen July 4th!