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Sneed: Rahm to launch new CPS summer reading program

Mayor Rahm Emanuel reading to pre-K students.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel reads"The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse" to children at the Nia Family Center in 2012. | Sun-Times photo

Sneed exclusive . . . 

Watch for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help relaunch summer school.

• Translation: Sneed has learned Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson are poised to introduce a new summer reading initiative to keep kids academically engaged over the summer.

“We have decided that rather reinvent summer school — which I feel was enhanced by my summer learning program in the Chicago Public Library called Rahm’s Readers — we will make our summer reading program year-round,” Emanuel told Sneed.

“Over the past five years — as a result of the mayor’s efforts to lengthen the school day and school year — CPS has seen a decline of nearly 50 percent in summer school as a result of the academic gains,” said mayoral spokesman Shannon Breymaier.

“With this new summer reading initiative, summer learning will be focused on helping kids get ahead, not on helping kids catch up,” she added.

• To wit: The program will launch this year at 50 schools across the city, but is expected to grow and expand to more schools.

• Backshot: In 2012, Emanuel launched Rahm’s Readers, a summer reading program that engaged more than 100,000 kids last summer — and which began as an initiative to prevent the “summer slide,” where kids can lose up to three months of learning during the summer if they don’t remain engaged in learning.

• Upshot: Following the success of Rahm’s Readers, the new program will be part of the larger Summer of Learning initiative, where 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers assign summer reading to their incoming students.

• Bookshot: The books will be provided at no cost to students before the school year ends, and the reading assignments will dovetail with that year’s Summer of Learning theme.