Fresno Unified provides extra literacy support for students this summer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Friday, the first of 50,000 books were distributed to students in the Fresno Unified community.

Students in kindergarten through 5th grade received a pack of grade-level and culturally diverse books. This is just one of many steps the district is taking to make sure students have access to free books all summer long.

At King Elementary School, the district is holding its annual summer reading program.

"Reading by third grade is really fundamental to make sure they can continue with that learning," said FUSD Reading Program Project Manager Jacqueline Machado Austin. "Reading is definitely where they're going to succeed, where they're going to bridge any gaps in learning."

Over 350 students are part of the summer-long program, held at four sites across the district.

"We're focusing on phonics, word recognition, segmenting, just things that kids won't get a lot of," said FUSD Interim Co-Director of the Office of African American Acceleration Tonisha Hargrove Williams.

After a year of distance learning, they say it's crucial to keep kids reading this summer.

"When we're not utilizing those muscles, then of course there's going to be some backslide," added Austin. "That's just going to happen with anything we aren't doing consistently."

Fresno Unified is also hosting camp Read-A-Lot for students K-3rd grade that need the extra help.

Fresno Unified's school year starts on August 12th. Students will be back in the classroom five days a week. The district will also be implementing an added 30 minutes of instruction a day, to help make up for learning loss.
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