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Summer months impact efficiency in the classroom, but one group is working to change that

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BATON ROUGE - This week, Volunteers in Public Schools will kickstart the "Super Summer Readers Program," hosting reading sessions with students in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.

The new program aims to combat the lull in reading too often caused by the summer months. 

More than reading, the program and those involved have made it more possible for all students to stay educated while away from the classrooms. School board member Evelyn Ware Jackson says that making sure students continue reading during the summer helps to keep their brains active and ahead of the game. 

In turn, when students keep up with exercising their minds away from school, they're helping teachers in the classroom once school starts once again. 

"Reading during the summer is very, very important, it helps exercise that muscle so that when they get back into school, they're not having to remediate," says Ware Jackson. "Our teachers spend a lot of time trying to get kids caught up on what they've missed in those couple of months."

She says every day and every month spent away from the classrooms is another lesson plan that needs to be accounted for when students return to their schools. 

Encouraging students to continue their education is only part of the reason why VIPS and its partners are working to help students across the capital city.

The group helps over 500 students involved in the initiative. They have several programs geared towards helping students succeed through literature. The reader's program itself will hand out a total of 120 books starting Thursday, July 21st.

Kaia Simmons with Atmos Energy, one of the program's sponsors, explains that the books they have picked for this year's program are aimed at empowering and encouraging students. 

Judy Bethly, the Executive Director of VIPS, says a big part of the program is helping students who may not have access to literature materials when away from the classroom.

VIPS worked with the school board and EBRPSS teachers to determine which students are in need of assistance. On average, Bethly says they receive over 1,000 recommendations for just the Super Summer Readers program alone. 

With an ongoing need to help students that don't have access to education away from the classroom, and a message on the importance of staying educated during break months, VIPS continues to collect book donations for students in need.

If you're interested in joining the movement or contributing through donations, you can visit VIPS' webpage


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