Summer Slide


Kids who don’t read over the summer lose out – Big Time!

  • Summer Reading Loss studies have shown that reading over the summer prevents “summer reading loss.”
  • Summer reading loss is cumulative. Children don’t “catch up” in the fall because the other children are moving ahead with their skills.
  • By the end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer are two years behind their classmates.

Importance of Self-Selection of Reading Materials

  • Some researchers feel it is important that students, especially middle and high school kids, read things that are important to them socially– items related to movies and books that are popular with their friends–which most library programs encourage.
  • Free, voluntary reading is essential to helping students become better readers, writers, and spellers.
  • 8 out of 10 studies indicate students who read recreationally out-performed those who don’t.
  • Students read more when they can choose materials based on their own interests. Self-selection of reading materials is an extremely important factor in motivating struggling readers, and is a key component for most summer library programs.

Advantages of Summer Reading Programs for Students who Struggle with Reading

  • Summer reading programs usually take special needs into account and make adjustments for individual children.
  • Reading 4 or 5 books over the summer can have a significant impact for middle school readers.
  • One advantage of public library summer library programs is that they are not located in school buildings, which helps reduce the negative perception about summer learning for students who are struggling.
  • Summer reading programs in public libraries usually encourage readers, especially those who are struggling, to use alternate formats such as magazines, recorded books, graphic novels, and material on the Internet.
  • Library summer programs offer extensive enrichment activities related to literature that is often not included in schools, because of the time constraints.
  • Participants often return to summer library programs in successive years, which help children build reading into their summer routine.