As a child, I spent the summer riding my bicycle and swimming, soaking up the sun and enjoying the slower pace.

 

The end of the school year and the start of summer break provides a much-needed time for relaxation and renewal. Schedules are less pressured, and there’s more time for families to explore and travel, even if just in your own neighborhood.

 

One summertime rule in our family is that we had to read at least an hour every day. I did most of my reading in the evening before bed. My mom asked lots of “how” and “why” questions to really make me think. I grew up to become a high school English teacher, so my summer reading definitely made a positive impact on my life!

 

This year, with the challenging year we’ve all experienced, I encourage our families to spend part of their summer break reading and learning. The disruption of the pandemic has caused our students to experience learning loss, and summer enrichment is a good time to practice skills and make sure you’re on track for the start of school in August.

 

Summer learning can be fun! I like to call it “traveling with your mind.” Your family might delve deeply into a topic that interests you or study something that we tend to overlook in everyday life – maybe the weather or plants and birds in your backyard. Do jigsaw puzzles and try your hand at crosswords or sudoku.

 

Volusia County Schools has compiled a list of resources for parents, including book lists and websites with free, fun explorations in science, math, and English Language Arts. Also, this summer, we are partnering with the Daytona Tortugas for a Summer Reading Challenge where your children can earn rewards for the minutes they read. It’s not important what your student reads – it’s that they read! All the details are on our website, www.vcsedu.org.

 

In closing, I’d also like to wish all of the fathers and father figures out there a very Happy Father’s Day. I salute all of you – dads, stepfathers, grandfathers, foster dads, and men who serve as role models and mentors for our students. Enjoy your special day!

 

I wish you all a safe and fun summer. Learn something!

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