reading libraryFirst, let’s talk about the importance of summer enrichment. We all know that summer is a time when many students forget all about school. While I don’t advocate a lot of summer work, there are compelling reasons why we should read during the summer. After that I will begin discussing some summer reading strategies. How fun!

Here is a handout from a terrific free offering from the California Library Association about the need for summer reading (Check out more of their great offerings here.)

Summer Learning Loss

  1. When young people aren’t engaged in educational activities during the summer, they experience learning loss.
  2. Reading just 5 books over the summer can prevent summer learning loss.
  3. In a study of fourth graders, the students who read for fun every day scored the highest on reading assessment tests.
  4. Summer reading loss is cumulative. By the end of 6th grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates.
  5. Students who participated in a summer reading program had better reading skills at the end of third grade and scored higher on standardized tests than students who did not participate.

Reading outsideThe Achievement Gap

  • Children who have easy access to books read more books. The more children read, the better their fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Children who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. Summer Reading programs encourage young children and families to read regularly and libraries provide access to reading materials year round.
  • Rich, engaging and free educational activities like summer reading programs are excellent tools to address the achievement gap. More than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
  • Ensuring that books are available to any child at any time of the year is a necessary step towards closing the reading achievement gap.
  • Children living in poverty are more likely to lose reading skills over the summer than children whose families are more affluent. Regular access to public libraries can make the difference between their summer setback and summer success.
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