Preparing for a New School Year: High School

Donald Wilms
Teacher of Adult Basic Education, The READ Center
Past President, Chesterfield Education Association
Retired National Board Certified English Teacher (2017)

As a 39-year veteran teacher of high school English and Past President of the Chesterfield Education Association, I know the most important skill for kids to maintain over the summer is reading.

Kids who come back to school in September having grown or at least maintained their reading skills have a distinct advantage over other students and have an easier time readjusting to academic life. Reading isn’t limited just to books, however: Even those without the means of taking kids on culturally rich vacations have low cost and free options throughout the Richmond region.

The most obvious of these are our public libraries, all of which offer seemingly endless choices of free reading in every subject matter, but also provide free computer use for research and other additional reading options as well as for writing (reading’s sister skill).

Other free places to maintain or grow learning include the following:

Additional resources can be found at your teachers’ union websites. The Virginia Education Association has a tab on its home page for parent resources that include books your children will love as well as ways you can help your child continue to develop his/her learning skills throughout the year. The National Education Association also has a parent link at the top of its home page, which includes numerous resources on reading and other ways to help your children be successful students.

More Information:

Read the rest of our series of guest features on preparing your child for a new school year:

  • Young Children (Shelia Pleasants, Director of Community Giving at United Way)
  • Elementary School (Shelby Bartilotti, Exceptional Education Teacher at Bellwood Elementary)
Don Wilms is a National Board Certified teacher, Virginia Award for Teaching Excellence recipient and a former READ Center Board member. Don understands the big picture of education and shared his advice on what kids can do over the summer to be ready for school.

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