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Oxford educators hit streets to help beat 'summer slide'

Oxford and Lafayette County partnered together to find a creative solution to prevent the "summer slide."

Posted: May 11, 2018 5:00 PM
Updated: May 11, 2018 6:43 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - Oxford and Lafayette County partnered together to find a creative solution to prevent the "summer slide."

"Oh, the places you'll go...," a well known line from a Dr. Seuss book and the inspiration of a mobile literacy project.

Suzanne Ryals

"We we wanted a way to reach out to the community so we can touch kids' lives through the summer time," stated Suzanne Ryals, director of early childhood and reading for the Oxford School District.

A former school bus is helping move the project.

"This bus gives us the opportunity to take reading to kids in the summer," she said.

Ryals' passion for education is contagious, a love for learning she hopes to pass on as she travels to pre-schools, head-starts and other child care programs.

"We'll take puppet shows, read alongs. We'll take different activities we can take outside," Ryals continued.

Partnering with the library helps to reach children who may not be able to attend summer programs. Also, plans for book distributions are also in the works.

"We know if a child picks out a book, they are more likely to read it."

Educators encourage parents to read to their children and for students to read at least 20 minutes a day.

It's taken a year to create the mobile literacy program; an idea first inspired by a visit from the Moonshot Moment Rocket Mobile Reading Lab last June.

This nationally recognized program in Florida has the goal of achieving 90 percent literacy rate for students by the time they reach the third grade.

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