Why literacy?

  • Students who are not reading proficiently in third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who can read proficiently.
  • Children with the lowest reading scores account for a third of students but for more than three-fifths (63 percent) of all children who do not graduate from high school.

Why are we focusing on summer learning loss?

  • Learning or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative, creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students. By the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a two-year lag in reading achievement.
  • Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.

Why is this especially important for low-income youth?

  • It is estimated that the “Summer Slide” accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle- and upper-income peers.
  • About two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
  • Among children with two risk factors—poverty and reading skills below the proficient mark—26 percent do not graduate from high school, compared to 9 percent with these subpar reading scores who have never experienced poverty.