Even if your child's school doesn't require summer reading, state officials and educators recommend he or she read anyway.
"Readers are leaders and we want our children continuing to learn throughout the summer," Gov. Pat Quinn said in a news release from the state board of education. "Summer reading helps students retain and develop academic skills, so they're well-prepared to return to school in the fall."
The release encourages parents and students to use the free Find a Book tool at http://www.lexile.com/findabook  to find books that match their reading level, interest and availability at local libraries.
"Research indicates that struggling learners score significantly higher on standardized tests taken at the beginning of the summer than they do on the same tests taken at summer's end," the release said. "The academic loss is particularly evident in reading, and most pronounced among students from low socioeconomic families who may not have access to books. Studies show children who read through the summer months maintain more of their academic skills and are better prepared when school resumes."
The Find a Book tool also includes an option for finding books in Spanish.
The state board also has a summer reading website at http://www.isbe.net/htmls/summer_reading.htm .