Avoiding the Summer Slide: Summer Reading


Summer time is a fantastic time for mentors! When school is out you and your Starfish Scholar can plan all the things you do together: Swimming, hiking, biking, eating way too much ice cream and reading a novel or two. That’s right, READING!

According to the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, kids lose, on average, one to two months of reading and math skills during summer vacation. That is almost 20% of the school year! This loss of educational ground is often referred to as “Summer Slide.” What’s worse is that the loss is also cumulative; meaning that over a period of several years, it is likely a student can be years instead of just months behind his/hers same-age peers.

The effects of “Summer Slide” are visible even among kids from affluent families, in spite of the enriched summer activities available to them.  Now, consider how much more of an impact a few months away from school has on students living in poverty. Many of them may be living in homes where there are no books to read.  It’s necessary that all Starfish Scholars learn of the importance and joy of reading.

The authors of the study also state that “It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”

Let’s make sure that your student starts the next school year ready to learn new material.

Reading with your Starfish Scholar minimizes the effects of this “Summer Slide.”

Don’t know what to read with your Starfish Scholar? Check out this year’s Top Books for the College Bound list or Top Ten list of fiction titles for young adults compiled by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and find them at your Indianapolis Public Library.

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