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Read to Me International

Research Says: Beat the Summer Slump

Liane Akana

 By Read To Me Executive Director Liane Akana

My fondest memories of summer vacations were three long months of running around the neighborhood in a pack of about eight to 10 children, for the most part unsupervised. The only instruction we received was from our mothers, who told us to be home before dark. Aside from the weekly trip to the library, summer was all about unstructured fun!

Herein lies one of the fundamental issues of literacy and student achievement – summer can either be a time of enrichment and learning opportunities, or a time of learning loss. Numerous studies over the years have confirmed a phenomenon referred to as the “summer slide,” which refers to the loss of achievement in students over summer vacation.

If allowed to continue for several years, the summer slide can have a significant long-term impact on academic achievement. According to one study, more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.

If cost or availability is a problem, there are still things you can do to minimize the summer slump. Check out my tips and links here.

See the research yourself: Citations and Links