I was around 10 years old when I first experienced a hurricane. I had heard of them before, but really didn't understand what they were. My family had just moved to South Carolina. My dad was stationed at Charleston Air Force Base. School had just started and I was loving life in the south.
That September, Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston. I don't remember seeing a lot of hurricane coverage on the news. I remember everyone talking about who was leaving and who was hunkering down and staying. My dad stayed, but my mom and us three children evacuated to the upstate to stay with family in Greenwood. I remember being terribly upset that I couldn't stay at home. I wanted to stay with my dad and experience the hurricane. We went home a few days later. As a child, I could not understand the magnitude of what was happening.
I have never witnessed such destruction in person as what we saw when we came home. Our house had 5 trees fall on it. The fence was gone and the shed in the backyard was smashed to bits. We were fortunate compared to many. The neighborhood was a mess. The sound of chainsaws was heard from dawn to dusk. Neighbors jokingly placed signs in their yards that said "Landscaping by H. Hugo Inc."
Our schools were closed for weeks due to the extensive damage they sustained. There was little fresh water to drink. Big trucks brought in food and water and families waited in line for hours to get the essential items they needed to survive. We were fortunate enough to have what we needed. I'll never forget the faces of the the families that stood in those lines for food, water, and clothing. It was heartbreaking.
Our country has been rocked by many devestating hurricanes the past few years. Just this week, Irma completely pounded the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and many more areas. I haven't seen any lines for food or water here, but that's not the case for families in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Florida Keys. Although many of us lost power, we have our homes. We have each other. We have so much to be thankful for.
Our kids have a story to tell when they get older about surviving a hurricane. Thankfullly, their stories are mostly about wind, rain, and power loss rather than homelessness, hunger, and uncertainty of the future. Please be in prayer for those whose lives have been forever changed by Hurrican Irma.
What is summer reading loss and why is it important to me and my child?
Summer reading loss is a decline in a child's academic ability from the time they left their previous grade to their new grade in the fall. For us, it is the gap of knowledge from when your child left kindergarten to when they entered my first grade classroom. Not every child will experience summer reading loss, but it is very common.
Many children who left kindergarten at grade level will suddenly find themselves below grade level upon entering first grade. This can be attributed to the summer reading loss. It can be very frustrating for students, as well as parents to know that something they could do before they can no longer do easily.
I highly encourage you to have a talk with your child's first grade teacher. Have her/him pull your child's literacy folder and look at where your child was at the beginning, middle, and end of kindergarten. Compare their reading levels (a-z) to where they are now. Is there any loss? Are there any gains? Have a discussion with the teacher about strategies you can use at home to help your child catch up. It's like riding a bike. You just need to get back on it- reading, that is. The more you practice, the easier it gets!