SCS combats summer learning loss with reading packs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County Schools handed out bags in different neighborhoods Thursday trying to combat summer learning loss.

Many kids do not touch books during summer vacation, and the district said study after study shows it affects them in the fall.

"The goal is to make sure that we minimize that gap," said Dr. Cynthia Alexander Mitchell with the district's Family and Community Engagement Office.

The district's "Engage Me" group loaded up on a school bus Thursday and traveled to several spots, including Winchester Elementary, handing out bags.

Each bag included books, a journal, crayons, and information about enrolling for next school year online.

SCS wanted parents to take part in keeping kids from falling behind over summer break.

"It's a mutual process. It's dual accountability," Alexander Mitchell said.

WREG also tagged along when the group visited the Neighborhood Market Walmart in Hickory Hill.

"I am going to share mine with my nieces and nephews," said Highland Oaks Middle School teacher Alisa Bledsoe who happened to be out running errands and picked up a bag.

Bledsoe said she often sees that summer learning gap but that there are things parents can do to help.

"Children love it when you read to them, and you can also use the strategy of reading one page, have them read a page. Have them circle or underline words they don't understand," Bledsoe suggested.

Alexander Mitchell said the group aimed to hand out between 600 and 1,000 bags.

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