Summer Learning Challenge Winners Honored

October 02, 2015

To ensure that West Virginia’s students did not fall behind while school was out of session during the summer months, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) encouraged children statewide to keep their academic skills sharp through the Summer Learning Reading and Math Challenge.

The Challenge encouraged students to pledge to read and engage in educational activities throughout the summer. Many students, especially children from low income families, experience the "summer slide" or the summer learning loss that occurs among children which can result in a loss of knowledge and reading ability.

The four schools with the highest percentage of its student body who “pledged to read” were honored by WVDE. The statewide winners are: Bridgeport Middle School, Harrison County (first place); H.E. White Community School, Clay County (second place); Geary Elementary, Roane County (third place) and Hamlin Pre-K-8, Lincoln County (fourth place).

Each of the four schools is awarded a one year site license to one of the following reading improvement programs: Achieve3000, Scholastic Reading Counts! and Capstone Digital's myON.

“I was excited for my students to take the Summer Reading Challenge as we have been focusing diligently on increasing our students’ literacy skills,” said April Kearns, an administrator at H.E. White Community School. “We were thrilled to learn we had the highest number of pledges in the state. I know it will continue fostering the love of reading and help our students increase their proficiency.”

Research shows that students who read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to be successful later in life. Students who fail to meet this milestone falter in the later grades. The WVDE and West Virginia Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading are challenging students to read every day this summer, for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Suggested summer reading goals for students based on grade levels are:

  • K-2 students: 10 books
  • 3-5 students: 8 chapter books
  • 6-12 students: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books.

A national study in 1996 found that children lose about two months of learning in math computation skills over a summer. As part of the Summer Learning Reading and Math Challenge, resources to engage students in math skill-building activities are provided. The program’s goal is to help children retain math skills they learned during the previous school year.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the WVDE Office of Communications at or 304-558-2699.

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