Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
Elementary school students in Prince George’s County, Md., are being offered a chance to receive money for reading books over the summer. To combat the “summer slide” effect – the summertime regression of students’ reading skills from the lack of regular reading – Prince George’s County Public Schools is teaming up with a nonprofit to implement the “5 Gets You 25” pilot program. Incoming fourth, fifth and sixth graders in five participating PGCPS elementary schools will be able to receive $5 each time they read a book and write a five-paragraph report. The program offers each grade specific, 16-book reading lists from which students can choose from. Students participating in the program will only receive money for up to five books, capping their summer-reading earnings at $25. If a student reads and reports on five books, they will then be entered to win a netbook computer. Sign-ups for the program started in mid-June and will cease once the 500-student limit is reached. LUKE Foundation President Charles G. Davis came up with the idea after using a similar activity to spark a colleague’s child’s interest in reading.