It is no mystery that summer break can result in an exponential loss of academic skills or the “summer slide.” Research conducted by John Hopkins’ sociology Professor Karl Alexander shows that low-income youth suffer significantly from a loss of academic skills over the summertime. The losses pile up contributing to an achievement gap in their future academic success.
With only a few weeks before the doors close for the school year, some children will have a summer full of adventurous trips and academic, creative, or athletic camps while others will have less expansive experiences. Providing children with strategically planned summer experiences is crucial. This is especially true for those who don’t have access to enriching home-based learning.
Books have the capacity to give young readers someplace to go when they must stay where they are while opening their world to many new experiences.
Making an impact for children with no access to home-based enrichment
The shared focus on addressing skill loss over the summer set the stage for a perfect partnership between BookSpring and The Andy Roddick Foundation. With the Foundation’s multi-year grant, the Summer Success program continues to thrive serving 1st and 2nd grade students.
Summer Success is a classroom-based program for 1st and 2nd grade teachers to provide reading support such as vocabulary and oral comprehension together with a distribution of 10 books before the summer break. With a focus on STEAM skills, students are exposed to many potential future career paths.
Summer slide can have a significant impact on learning for low-income students who may have more difficulty bouncing back during the school year. Through Summer Success, we strive to stop and potentially reverse any loss in reading skills for many students!
Teaming up with Literacy First
We were thrilled to form an additional partnership this year with Literacy First! This literacy-based organization provides low-income schools with highly trained tutors to ensure children advance to grade level in reading before third grade.
Tutors work one-to-one with students using research-based curriculum to develop phonological awareness, letter knowledge, phonics and oral reading fluency. They assess all students and use the data to determine which ones are lagging in critical early literacy skills and to ensure they are responding to the lessons and accelerating their reading skills.
Many of the students they serve lack the resources and support they need to reach academic success. Over the course of the school year, they truly get to know their students. Tutors from 25 elementary schools hand selected books based on each of their students’ interest.
Through this strategic partnership with Literacy First, 2,500 students will build a personal library which will both inspire and motivate them to read for pleasure over the summer while minimizing the summer slide.