ALL young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. 1
READING is the most important subject in school. Why? Because a child needs reading in order to master most of the other subjects. It’s extremely difficult to do word problems in math if you can’t read the words. How can you answer the questions in social studies or science if you can’t read and understand the textbook? 2
LEARNING or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative, creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students. By the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a two– year lag in reading achievement. 3
REGARDLESS of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer. 4
IT is estimated that the “Summer Slide” accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle- and upper-income peers. 6
READINGas a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed. 7
3RD graders who can’t read on grade level are four times less likely to graduate by age 18 than a proficient reader. 8
HAVING reading role-model parents or a large book collection at home has a greater impact on kids’ reading frequency than does household income. 9
AN overwhelming 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they picked out themselves. 9
1. White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004.
2. Ten facts parents should know about summer reading: Jim Trelease.
3. Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap, Jimmy Kim, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2004
4. Ameliorating summer reading setback among economically disadvantaged elementary students, Richard Allington, April 2007
5. Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwistle, Linda Steffel Olson, April 2007
6. Why Summer Matters in the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap, Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Frazen, August 2009
7. The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen, Libraries Unlimited., 1993
8. Annie E. Casey Foundation, Hernandez, Donald J., 2011
9. The Kids and Family Reading Report™ 4th edition conducted by Harrison Group and Scholastic, 2012.