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Suffolk Executive Bellone, Wyandanch Schools Launch First-Ever Summer Reading Program For Kindergartners And First Graders

County Executive’s Smart Start Suffolk Pilot Initiative Partners with the Wyandanch School District to Address the Summer Achievement Gap for Our Most Early Learners.

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone meets one of the young participants of Summer Books Reading Initiative.

Photo by: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, via Flickr

Wyandanch, NY - June 22, 2018 - Today, County Executive Steve Bellone joined the Wyandanch School District and 330 students in Pre-K and Kindergarten to launch the My Summer Books Reading Initiative, which provides every participating student a scholastic “My Summer Books Back Pack," inclusive of books that reflect the diversity, interests, and reading levels of each student. The educational partnership between the County and School District also offers bi-lingual books available for students to keep them engaged with reading and writing activities during the summer months.
“We must always be on a learning journey and today’s announcement will provide the opportunity for the most early learners within the Wyandanch School District to engage in summer reading and learning activities with their families and community,” said County Executive Bellone. “This initiative will turn the summer academic slide into the summer leap and allow the community to assist in that process.”
The Wyandanch School District will further collaborate with the Wyandanch Mother’s for Change, the Wyandanch Plaza Association, and Allied Foundation to host Summer Reading on the Plaza every Saturday in July and August at the Delano Stewart Plaza at Wyandanch Village. This will provide students an opportunity to come together, read their books, participate in learning activities, receive nutritious lunch provided by Island Harvest and Stop and Shop, and have the opportunity to receive additional free books from Book Fairies.
This initiative was spearheaded by Smart Start Suffolk and brought to the Wyandanch School District for consideration and participation. The Wyandanch School District took this initiative one step further and also purchased, for the benefit of their students, Scholastic BookFlix- an online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning. The engaging way to link fact and fiction, BookFlix reinforces early reading skills and introduces children to a world of knowledge and exploration via an online platform.
About Smart Start Suffolk
This initiative as well as many other early education initiatives fall under the auspices of Smart Start Suffolk, an early education pilot program aiming to provide supports to parents, caregivers and professionals who care for children so they can help their children to be prepared for success in school and life. For the past year, the needs of Wyandanch children as well as children throughout Suffolk County and their families have been explored and a plan has been developed to address a range of issues that will help children be better prepared for Kindergarten.