To keep students from falling off the summer slide, Lincoln Elementary’s faculty would like to hook them on a few books during their summer vacation.

To that end, the school is hosting its second-annual Summer Slide Sizzler, a fun event to promote reading, from 4 to 8 p.m. on May 20 at Lincoln School, 900 N. Ash St., in McPherson.

Reading teacher Jenny Wiens stresses the importance of reading practice to fight learning loss during the break from school.

“There truly is something called the summer slide...We’re helping families have books in their homes that kids actually want to read and so they know that reading isn’t a chore. We really want to build a positive home atmosphere around reading and what better way to do that than to let kids come and pick their own book that they get to keep,” Wiens said.

This year’s event is open to the public and will feature an inflatable bounce house, food and fun prizes. However, Wiens said, books are only given to Roosevelt and Lincoln students.

Wiens is able to give students four books each at both Lincoln and Roosevelt Elementary schools, thanks to a grant she and the Roosevelt reading teacher applied for through the Education Foundation, which awarded her $7,825.

“The grant was written for covering four books for every student for every student pre-school through fifth-grade at both schools, the inflatables, supplies for an art project that reflects their book in June, popsicles during the event and then the water park rental for two hours in August and their last book,” she said.

Students will be able to pick from a wide variety of books and keep them.

“We have fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books. We have all types. We are wanting them to choose a book they’re interested in. We’re not worried if it matches their reading level. We just want them to read over the summer,” Wiens said.

Driving-age participants will also be able to try out a Chrysler Pacificia provided by Midway Motors in McPherson.

“For every person that test drives the car, $10 goes toward our school,” said Cody Rierson, Lincoln Elementary’s principal. “Anybody can come that has a valid drivers license to drive the car. I want people to know that this event is open to anyone.”

Rierson said the money raised from test driving will go right back to the students.

“We will put it toward our at-risk kids for when those kids need socks, coats, jackets or even food. Believe it or not kids will show up for a field trip and they don’t have lunch. We also use it for presents at Christmastime for students as well. It goes right back to our kids, which is where it should go,” he said.

Both Rierson and Wiens hope for a packed house on Sunday.

“I want it to be packed. We get a lot of Lincoln people here, but there’s nothing that would make me happier than to see just as many Roosevelt people here and from the community as well. I want people to know that you don’t have to have a kid that goes to either of these schools to attend,” Rierson said.

For more information, call Lincoln Elementary at 620-241-9540.