Why Books Are Especially Important Now

Summer Reading and the "Slide"
Posted on 07/09/2019
Image of Summer Reading(From NortheastOhioParent.com)

The “summer slide” is not a new waterpark attraction or a dance craze. It’s a situation that many children and their families likely are not even aware of, much less think about as they enjoy their summer vacations. That’s unfortunate, because it creates unnecessary difficulties for kids when they return to school in the fall.

“Summer slide” is a term used by educators referring to the learning loss that occurs when children do not engage in educational activities, especially reading, during the summer months. Nearly 66 percent of teachers reported needing to devote up to four weeks reviewing or re-teaching the same material at the beginning of the school year that their students had learned the previous spring, according to a 2013 survey of 500 teachers by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA).

There also is troubling research that the summer slide impacts children and youths from lower-income homes to a greater extent than those from middle class and wealthier households.

According to “Summer Reading – Closing the Rich/Poor Reading and Achievement Gap,” edited by Richard L. Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen, one analysis found that summer vacations created, on average, an annual achievement gap of about three months between lower-income and wealthier students. Children with special needs and language may face increased barriers.

Promoting reading might help kids close the gap. Local libraries offer a variety of summertime programs and events to foster a love of reading in a child.

This summer, many libraries are putting their own spin on a common campaign theme: “A Universe of Stories!” promoted by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), which commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the first manned moon landing by Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.

Click here for some summer reading programs taking place around the region, followed by some at-home suggestions parents can do to prevent the summer slide.
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