Summer's here! And that means a break from the rigors of our children's education. However, research shows that children who do not engage in reading over summer vacations tend to slip backwards in their education, a phenomenon known as the summer slide. One study (cited on Reading Rockets) states that, "Our research with 116 first, second, and third graders in a school in a middle class neighborhood found that the decoding skills of nearly 45% of the participants and the fluency skills of 25% declined between May and September. Lower achieving students exhibited a sharper decline than higher achieving students."
Because summer reading loss is a documented reality, many libraries and community centers have developed summer reading programs for children across the US.
The American Library Association states that "The benefits to readers in a summer reading program include:
- encouragement that reading become a lifelong habit
- reluctant readers can be drawn in by the activities
- reading over the summer helps children keep their skills up
- the program can generate interest in the library and books"
Take the time to seek out a summer reading program in your city!
Find out so much more at at the National Summer Learning Association website.
Read more about summer reading loss and the achievement gap on the American Library Association's Fact Sheet, and at the Reading Rockets FAQ page.