Reading incentives help prevent 'summer slide' at Wauwatosa East

April 22, 2014

A new reading incentive program will roll out this summer for Wauwatosa East High School students. The program is intentionally flexible to accommodate students' summer schedules but aims to prevent the "summer slide."

"Summer slide" is the researched loss of reading skills among students who slip out of the practice of reading in the summer, according to Scholastic.

It also accounts for disparate test scores between the fall and spring semesters, which is when Wauwatosa School District students take the M.A.P. (Measurement of Academic Progress) standardized test, according to Lauren Cervero, literacy specialist at East. Cervero created the reading incentive program.

To participate, students will email Cervero with information about an age-appropriate book they are interested in reading. She will confirm students' participation and require them to submit evidence of reading. Evidence can vary by student, Cervero said, and is flexible to whatever format students want to produce.

Students do not have deadlines and can read at their own pace. The students who submit reading evidence will be entered into a weekly drawing for gift cards, Tosa apparel and restaurant coupons.

"It's not that they have to have 100 words typed (for evidence), it's just that they're reading and thinking about what they're doing — that's going to show progress," she said.

Ninety-one percent of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they picked out themselves, with 86 percent of kids saying they feel proud when they finish reading a book, according to 2010's Kids & Family Reading Report, a national survey by Scholastic.

"Any reading is going to be positive," Cervero said.

The summer reading program will start after the last day of classes and run until mid-August.

Next Steps

Contact: Lauren Cervero at or (414) 773-2131 to participate. Visit East High School's website for more information at


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