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Stop the Summer Slide: Preventing Reading Loss in the Summer

kids running on a path by a river

School's out for summer, baby!

Or school's almost out for summer...or it's out in a couple weeks.


For many kids, the end of school is just around the corner if not already knocking at the door. Gone are the timed math tests, the vocabulary lists, the science projects, the history books, and the reading calendars.

Wait, check that last one. That one may need to stick around for the summer.

charts and graphs showing data

See, it turns out that not reading over the summer hugely affects a student's performance come the following school year. By not reading during summer vacation, students - even those with stronger skills - can lose up to 1.5 years worth of reading development!

Think about that. If your fourth grader refuses to pick up a book over the summer, it can set him back to mid-year of second grade. Yikes! Your 10th grade daughter may suffer a setback that puts her in the 8th grade as she gets ready to enter her junior year of high school. That's a pretty big backslide.

Most times, the summer slide occurs for one of two reasons: 1.) Children lack access to reading material. 2.) Parents lack an awareness of the importance of reading over the summer months. Students in a lower socioeconomic class and those for whom English is not their first language are particularly vulnerable to reading loss.

Fortunately, as teachers, parents, neighbors, grandparents, friends, or whatever role you play to influence the lives of children around you, there are steps you can take to encourage reading over the summer. A mere 30 minutes of reading per day is enough to stop the slide.Check out this free download Stop the Slide. It offers 10 tips for parents and teachers to help kids keep up their reading over the summer.

group of teens reading at a library

In my upcoming posts, I'll also be offering a reading challenge of my own and links to some amazing resources I've found to help parents keep up the encouragement and excitement for reading during vacation. Stay tuned for more this week!

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