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Kids' reading at four city locations will combat 'summer slide'

Mansfield City Schools teacher Whitney Glorioso watches as Scarlett Ison, 7, reads a story online. Scarlett will be a Sherman third-grader in August.

      For many elementary-age children, the term “summer slide” means gliding down a colorful plastic chute to splash into a swimming pool.

      For Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Brian Garverick, it means the erosion of reading skills that can occur between May and August.

      “There are summer reading opportunities in Mansfield – the Big Red Bookshelf is a great example -- but we wanted something more to combat summer slide,” Garverick told the board of education earlier this month. “So we approached the North End Community Improvement Cooperative.”

      The result of the MCS-NECIC partnership is guided reading for elementary students at four sites in the city – UMADOAP, Ocie Hill, the Hedges campus and Crossroads City Center. Kay Smith of NECIC coordinates the reading schedules.

      CS teachers Whitney Glorioso and Wendy Doup are joining mentors at each of the locations to keep children interested in reading. Glorioso alternates between UMADOAP and Ocie Hill, Doup between Hedges and Crossroads.

      “Each site will dedicate time for reading as part of their overall summer program,” Garverick told the board. “We wanted the reading time to have a digital component too, so we are providing Chromebooks for use during the sessions. This is significant and exciting to me as a way to slow the ‘summer slide.’”

      A dozen children participated in the first of Glorioso’s two hour-long sessions at UMADOAP Thursday morning, using the Chromebooks for online reading.

      The kids have been really respectful with their use of the Chromebooks,” Glorioso said. “Some of them don’t have access to computers at home. They might play games on a parent’s phone but they don’t have a computer for online reading. The Chromebooks are a fun way to keep academic and digital skills going over the summer.”

      The result, she said, will be a quicker academic start when schools reopen on Aug. 23.

      Glorioso and a UMADOAP aide moved about the room, offering encouragement and help when needed.

      Glorioso praised UMADOAP’s programs for children in the former Stadium School on Trimble, calling them “highly organized and well run.”

      The reading sessions at all four city locations will continue until late July or the first week of August.

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