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Tarrytown Schools Tackle Summer Slump

Summer learning loss is a serious and substantiated problem, according to research done by the National Education Association. The Tarrytown School District works hard to combat this challenge through its Summer Literacy Institute, an initiative started five years ago by the Foundation for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns in response to parents who expressed an urgent need for literacy reinforcement.


In that time, the program has grown from one class of 16 students to six classes of more than 70.  The rising first, second and third-graders read and discuss a book and then participate in word work where they focus on letters and sounds. Then they form smaller groups and receive more individualized attention. The program runs three hours a day for two weeks in August.

“It is my favorite part of summer,” said ELA/Math Staff Developer Kristie Martinez, who coordinates the Summer Literacy Institute. “It instills confidence, and it really helps them to remember skills that could be lost over the summer.” The Institute enables the District to meet the needs of all learners.

On any given day students curl up with books in cubbies and sit on flexible chairs or at desks with other children.

The program is made possible through the support of private and public sector grants, including Hitachi America, Ltd, Kids Club of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, and Kendal on Hudson.

“Once, we had funding in place, we organized our first summer pilot,” said Shelly Colley, Executive Director of the Foundation. "Needless to say, it was a great success, and we now cater to the needs of more than 70 readers. We are incredibly grateful to our funding partners and could not offer this program without them.” 

Rising third-grader Erick Soraino said he enjoys reading books. His favorite so far, “The Best Student” by Sienna Jagadorn. “I like it because the dog got a medal,” said Erick.

“The children are excited to attend,” said Martinez. “The staff loves watching them run in with smiles on their faces.”

The Summer Literacy Program, which runs 10 weeks, ended on Friday, August 23rd.

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