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Why Summer Reading is Crucial for Kids

Summer Reading for Kids

Has your child read a book yet this summer? Studies show that summer reading helps children maintain and even improve their literacy skills, preventing the “summer slide,” a phenomenon where students lose some of the achievement gains they made during the school year.

What is the Summer Slide?

The summer slide refers to the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the summer months. 

According to the Kids & Family Reading Report by Scholastic, nearly half of parents are unaware of this phenomenon, yet it has a significant impact on student success. 

Researchers from the Kids & Family Reading Report estimate that by middle school, summer reading loss can accumulate to a two-year lag in reading achievement.

The Power of Summer Reading for Kids

Summer reading is not just a nice-to-have activity for kids; it’s essential for bridging the gap between school years. When kids engage in regular reading over the summer, they retain and build upon what they’ve learned during the school year, ensuring they start the next grade level on a strong footing.

According to the report, 77% of kids agree that reading during the summer helps them perform better in school. However, there is a troubling trend: an increasing number of children, especially older ones, report reading zero books over the summer. For instance, 32% of kids aged 15-17 read no books at all during their break. This trend is concerning as it signifies a missed opportunity for academic growth and development.

Find 10 more benefits of summer learning here.

Challenges and Solutions

Summer Reading for Kids

Despite the benefits, the report indicates an increase in the number of children who do not read any books over the summer. Access to books is a significant issue, especially for underserved communities. 

The report found that 53% of children get most of their books from school, so when schools are closed, access to books decreases dramatically. 

Public libraries and community programs can play a crucial role in bridging this gap. Many libraries offer summer reading programs and events that encourage children to read. Additionally, community initiatives can help provide books to children who might not otherwise have access to them. For example, districts that provide books and literacy nights see a significant reduction in summer reading loss among students.

How Parents Can Help

Parents can take several steps to encourage summer reading:

  • Visit the library: Regular library trips can provide children access to a wide range of books and reading materials.
  • Set a routine: Incorporating reading into the daily routine can help make it a habit.
  • Limit screen time: Reducing time spent on electronic devices can make more time for reading.
  • Join reading programs: Many libraries and community centers offer summer reading programs that make reading fun and engaging.

Need More Reading Help This Summer? 

Summer reading is a vital activity that helps children maintain and improve their literacy skills, preventing the summer slide. 

Oxford Learning understands the importance of summer reading and can help parents take steps to encourage it. If you feel your child needs reading help, reach out to a location near you.

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