GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Ottawa Area ISD Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) and Kids Read Now have partnered to send books including multi-ethnic, fiction, nonfiction, and award-winning titles loved by children to every 4-year-old student enrolled in GSRP this summer.

“We know one result of the pandemic in 2020 was that it limited some children’s exposure to preschool,” Tami Mannes Ph.D., director of early childhood services for Ottawa Area ISD, said. “This collaboration will help students make an easier transition to kindergarten next year by giving them a reliable source of high-quality books throughout the summer.”

This program hopes to reduce what OAISD call the “summer slide” by encouraging learning efforts year round. The “summer slide” refers to the decline of reading ability and academic skills that occur when school is not in session. By providing reading opportunities to students throughout the summer OAISD hopes to encourage learning even when students are outside of the classroom.

“We are honored to partner with Ottawa Area ISD to help equip kids and their families for a successful literacy journey throughout their local schools,” Glen Miller, senior outreach director for Kids Read Now, said. “It all starts with access to books and we’re glad to help.”