Amber and David in the library with some craft kits that read: Sticky Science
Photo by Huntsville Public Library

Literacy – in its many forms – needs an extra boost in summer. And here's why.

David Tremblay, CEO and chief librarian for Huntsville Public Library, with Rotarian Amber McNair, youth services librarian for the library, spoke to Rotary Club of North Muskoka members in June about youth literacy and how to avoid the harmful “summer slide”.

“A child not reading at their grade level by the end of Grade 3 is four times less likely to graduate high school,” said David. “And they are six times less likely to graduate high school, if they are also from a low-income household.”

He noted literacy isn't only related to reading a book, so mitigating the summer slide is about more than nestling into a comfy chair and turning pages. And that could be a boon for families eager for a study break after a difficult school year.

So how can you prevent the summer slide? David offered the following solutions:

  • Have your child read for at least 20 minutes every day

  • Spend time cooking together

  • Explore different kinds of reading materials like picture books, chapter books, and magazines

  • Make use of your local library

  • Listen to audio books on summer car trips

  • Read aloud daily with your children

  • Review skills with fun, hands-on activities

  • Engage in meaningful conversation to help build your child's vocabulary, and

  • Enjoy a new hobby

And the TD Summer Reading Club at the Huntsville Public Library, supported in part by the Rotary Club of North Muskoka, can help, too. The TD Summer Reading Club is virtual again in 2021 with some outdoor activities planned, too.

The program offers reading lists and book recommendations, story times, workshops, wildlife sessions, outdoor story walks at area trails, virtual Lego builder sessions, craft and take-and-make kits that engage STEM principles, and more. And it comes with prize incentives to keep tots, kids, teens and adults motivated.

Our Rotary club helps by sponsoring the prizes for ages 0 to 17. Basic education and literacy are one of Rotary International's seven areas of focus. We are proud to contribute to the summer reading program in our community.

Find more information and register for the TD Summer Reading Club at

“Thank you very much to Rotary for the continued decision to support prizes to incentivize the program and stop the summer slide in literacy,” added David.

The Rotary Club of North Muskoka is a club of like-minded community members dedicated to service and fellowship. Members meet Thursdays at 7:00 AM. Want to come? Email for details.