BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Schools across the state are teaming up with libraries and Maryland’s first lady to keep students reading and to stop the summer slide.

As Gigi Barnett explains, one program could keep kids ready to return to school in the fall.

Combine days on the beach, scores of video games and no books–too much of that over the summer can add up to what teachers call the “summer slide.”

That’s why Maryland’s First Lady Katie O’Malley is teaming up with schools and libraries to kick off the summer reading programs for students.

This week, she visited Walter P. Carter Elementary School, telling students that reading will help them retain what they’ve learned in class.

“Reading is such a great way to learn.  It’s much better than video games, so I think it’ll be a great thing for them,” said O’Malley.

Nico Moore is now a student at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  He did the summer reading program at Enoch Pratt Library as a kid. His aunt, who is a librarian, lured him in with the prizes.

“We got free books and she made us read all of the time so we could get the T-shirts and stuff,” said Moore.

The library says he doesn’t have to stop. It has summer reading programs for adults, too.

The summer slide can happen to college students, too.

“Continuing to read really helps you stay on top of things.  So when you get back, you don’t feel totally like, ‘I forgot how to read.  What’s going on?'” said Moore.

Enoch Pratt’s summer reading program starts on May 31 and ends Aug. 2.

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