EARLY YEARS: Roanoke Public LIbraries kick off Summer Reading Program June 18

Early Years: Keeping kids' reading skills sharp can prevent the "summer slide"

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Worried your kids might suffer that "summer slide" during their time off from school?

Roanoke Public Libraries is about to start its annual summer reading program to keep those reading skills sharp.

The program kicks off on June 18, with plenty of incentives like stuffed dogs and sunglasses for younger children, and gift cards for teens.

Reading over summer is crucial for kids to not fall behind.

Director of Roanoke Libraries Sheila Umberger says, "Say a child is i third grade, and so they're reading on grade level for a third grader, if they don't read over the summer, then they will be reading, perhaps, more like a second grader again. So, they actually can lose ground."

Umberger says the summer reading program is for the whole family, not just for young children.

Kids can head to any of the Roanoke library branches to sign up.