Minneapolis schools continue summer reading campaign

Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Ed Graff talks to a group of elementary school students on July 23 at Lyndale Community School.

Minneapolis Public Schools continued its summer reading campaign on July 23 at Lyndale Community School, where Superintendent Ed Graff read to a group of elementary students.

Graff read the book “I’m New Here,” about a group of immigrant students who work to adjust to their new school. He paused throughout his reading to ask questions and take comments about the story from the students.

The event came as the district continues its “MPS Strong” summer reading campaign. As a part of the campaign, it’s handing out books at events across Minneapolis.

Students can lose two months of reading skills over the summer if they don’t have opportunities to continue reading, according to the district. Researchers have found that lower-income students fall further behind than their middle- and upper-income peers during the summer months.

MPS kicked off its summer reading campaign in May with a series of book fairs hosted by the organization Start Reading Now. The organization held book fairs at about 30 schools in Minneapolis near the end of this past school year, providing students in grades 1–3 with 10 books each at no cost. The district has since provided no-cost books to kids at community events throughout the city, such as the Somali Independence Day festival and several Open Streets events.

MPS has a list of tips on its website for parents to keep their kids engaged in summer reading (mpls.k12.mn.us/reading_tips). The tips include: creating a reading routine, letting kids choose the books they read and reading to your kids, among others.

The district’s website also has a list of other summer resources and places where kids can get free books. Visit mpls.k12.mn.us/read to learn more.