CINCINNATI -- Instead of staying home this summer, 9-year-old Malikyah Bell is keeping his reading and math skills sharp at Envision Children's academic enrichment program.
It's his second year participating in the session, which was created more than a decade ago to help kids like him fight the "summer slide" -- the gradual loss of knowledge that schoolkids can experience when class isn't in session.
Participants take a test at the beginning of the program and at the end to measure increases in their math and reading knowledge during their time there.
"We've gotten increases on scores from 11 points to more than 48 points," Linda Wright, Envision Children's director of communications, said.
The most important thing the enrichment program does, Wright said, is keep kids interested in learning.
The number of children in the United States who say they love to read for fun has dropped 10% since 2010, meaning it's more important than ever for teachers and families to teach their kids to love it.
"I know life is too busy, but once a week, read them a book," Krizia Cabrera Toro, a teacher with the program, said.
Wright added that adults who read for pleasure are more likely to have children who do, too.
"It's essential that they see you reading because if they do, they'll say, 'Okay, if Mom and Dad think reading is important, I want to do that, too,'" she said.