Keeping kids reading over the summer months can be critical, educators say. It helps them go back to school in the fall ready to take up their studies close to where they left off.

In fact, the average child falls back about 2.6 months in knowledge over the summer. That means that when school begins in the fall, many teachers must go back and reteach what kids learned the previous year from April until June.

One proven way to cut information drain is to get kids reading over the summer. Thus the Deschutes Library System, as well as libraries in Crook and Jefferson counties, take part in the state’s summer reading program, this year called Dig Into Reading. It is directed at children through age 11. In addition, the Deschutes system has a summer program aimed specifically at teens.

Youngsters across the state have a new tool this year, as well. Called MyON, it’s the creation of Capstone Publishing, which publishes books for schoolchildren and provides educational services for teachers.

MyON allows children to use Capstone’s collection of electronic books on anything with Internet access, from a desktop or laptop computer to a tablet or a smartphone. It costs nothing, because the publishing company is allowing the Oregon Department of Education to use it free this summer. If local school districts pick up the program in the fall, they can expect to pay roughly $12 per student, according to The Oregonian newspaper.

If your child lacks a library card and the way to get to the nearest library to pick one up, MyON may be just the ticket. The Internet address for the program is Click on Login, then use “Oregon Readers, Oregon Department of Education” as your school name, and the word “read” for both username and password.

The site has more than 5,000 e-books available, about 500 more than on the Deschutes Library System’s website. The library’s print collections for teens and young readers, meanwhile, tops 160,600.

In the end, it’s the reading, not where books come from, that’s important to kids in the summer. MyON adds a new source of books for kids to explore. Parents should encourage them to do so.