Families finding ways to combat the ‘COVID slide’ this summer and get students back on track

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JOHNSTON, Iowa — Kids in the metro are officially on summer break. However, parents are already preparing for the next school year after a difficult year of virtual classes.

Sylvan Learning said parents are coming to their facilities with concerns about the ‘COVID slide’ after seeing firsthand how their child struggled with online learning for the last year.

“A lot of families are coming in and saying, I had no idea that my child was so behind until they were at home doing virtual and doing workbooks and not understanding,” Center Director for Sylvan Learning, Katie Ruby said. 

Sylvan has been conducting comprehensive tests that track areas such as the child’s reading and math levels, along with note-taking and studying skills.

Ruby said Sylvan begins tutoring by making a personalized plan for each student. However, generally, the tutoring company works on reading comprehension first which according to Sylvan also improves math scores.

This summer, the Des Moines Public Library is focusing on helping kids get back to enjoying reading, which it said can improve schoolwork in the long run. 

Starting Monday, the Des Moines Public Library will kick off its summer program where kids up to the age of 18 have a chance of winning prizes by attending local events and reading for at least 20 minutes every day. 

“We want to find what they love, what are they curious about, and let them explore that,” Director of Des Moines Public Library, Sue Woody said. “If they want to read Harry Potter three times, that’s still reading.” 

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