This past summer my children took part in Springboard Summer with OUSD. I was skeptical about putting them into this program at first but I knew I wanted them to be in a reading program over the summer.

What I found was that this program is well worth the time and effort in order to enhance your child’s reading.

With all the programs available I felt this was the best choice for us at this particular time in our learning. While they both were at reading level, I wanted more out of them. I also felt the continuation of a school routine would be good for them.

I was pleasantly surprised at what I learned from the program. I was already reading to my children, but I was not challenging them as I read. I learned that I should ask questions before, during and after reading. This includes every page. This process does prolong the reading time but, more importantly, it engages them in the story, gets them to think about what is going on, and helps them articulate their thoughts. I found that to be very important for them to express their ideas and stretch their imaginations.

The program recommends that children read by themselves for 10 minutes then read with their parent/guardian for 20 minutes. I started out thinking there was no way I could read with my three children for an hour. But I quickly figured out that I could work on other tasks as long as I was close by and active.

If they happened to run into some difficulty while they were reading, I would have them spell the word then sound it out which often helped.  

They would ask questions like what does this word mean and we would start that conversation by reviewing what’s going on in the pictures and the flow of the sentence in question. Many times, they would come up with examples of how they experienced similar things to what was taking place in the pictures. I started to see reading as more of a family time experience than as a task, which made it more enjoyable for me.

Overall, Springboard Summer is something I would highly suggest that you consider.  

Each of my children increased their reading by three reading levels over the 5-week program. My daughter has increased her love of reading and her activities around the house are more geared toward education than general play. My son, whose interactions were also very positive, is another story and I am working with him with new tools from Springboard.

This blog was contributed by Reginald Mosley. Reginald is an Oakland parent and member of the Oakland REACH. This blog was reposted from Great School Voices with permission from the author.