• Autumn Chesebro celebrates getting 100 percent on a reading quiz with Cherry Creek resource teacher Wendy Kapolka
  • Kim Lum, second-grade teacher at Cherry Creek Elementary, says Lowell’s summer reading program helps students maintain their skills
  • Soon-to-be middle schooler Gwen Hoke says the summer reading program is “a great way to spend those free days”

Summer Slide? When Pigs Fly!

by Morgan Jarema  

Gwen Hoke would sooner see a pig fly than spend her summer reading.

Wait, let's rephrase that: Gwen Hoke is reading this summer so she can see a pig fly.

She really is. In exchange for reading books she chooses, the soon-to-be middle-schooler snagged a kite emblazoned with a cartoon swine. She said she plans to catch a breeze with it in her front yard.

Arrows on the Move
This free program is offered to students in grades K-5. Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during each session. Sign up at any one of the following sites for the sessions listed below:

July 11, 18 and 25

  • Cherry Creek Media Center - 9 a.m. - noon
  • Flat River Outreach Ministries - 1 - 4 p.m.
  • Kent District Library Alto Branch - 6 - 8 p.m.

July 12, 19 and 26

  • Murray Lake Media Center - 9 a.m. - noon
  • Kent District Library Engelhardt Branch - 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

"I like to read," Gwen said. "And this month I'm not very busy, so it's a great way to spend those free days."

Gwen is one of about 200 area youngsters expected to take part this summer in Arrow Readers on the Move. It's a district-sponsored mobile reading program that travels around, helping school-age students in grades K-5 -- whether they attend Lowell or not -- keep their reading skills sharp in exchange for prizes such as T-shirts, ice cream coupons and, of course, kites.

Kim Lum, a Cherry Creek second-grade teacher who coordinates the program, said Arrow Readers has been around for about a decade. In 2015 and 2016 it was funded by the Lowell Rotary. This year, general funds are footing the bill to have staff at each location to help students practice reading and take comprehension quizzes.

Autumn Chesebro selects a book to read at Arrow Readers on the Move"The students who read during the summer come back in the fall at least where they left off," Lum said.

Just about all West Michigan public school districts promote summer reading. Neighboring Forest Hills Public Schools emails weekly tips to district families, keeps some elementary libraries open during summer and will host summer reading events such as an author visit at Pine Ridge Elementary.


Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide

10 Tips for Reducing the Summer Reading Slide

Kent District Library summer reading program


Sabin Ingraham takes a quiz on a book he’s read as his mom, Angie Ingraham, looks on

Submitted on: June 30th 2017

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