Bridging the Summer Gap: Why Continued Learning is Crucial 

05.30.2024 News

Raising a Reader, a national leader in early literacy and family engagement, emphasizes the critical importance of continuous learning over the summer months.  

“The summer months offer an opportunity to reinforce and build upon the learning that occurs during the school year,” said Michelle Sioson Hyman, Senior Vice President, Program and Partnerships at Raising a Reader. “However, without resources and learning activities, children can experience significant setbacks in their educational progress, commonly referred to as the ‘summer slide.'” 

The Importance of Summer Learning 

Research indicates that students can lose up to two months of reading and math skills if they are not actively learning over the summer. This loss is more pronounced among students from families navigating strategic barriers, who may have less access to educational resources during the break.  

Key Strategies for Effective Summer Learning 

  • Establish a Reading Routine: Make reading together with children a daily habit. Set aside a specific time each day for reading. Consistency helps children incorporate reading into their daily life and maintains their literacy skills. 
  • Embrace Reading Anywhere: Turn every environment into a reading opportunity. Long drives can be perfect for books and family discussions about a currently reading book. Short trips around town can become interactive lessons where children read road signs, shop names, and menus. This approach helps integrate reading with daily activities, making it a regular part of children’s lives. 
  • Access to a Variety of Reading Materials: Ensure children have access to diverse books that capture their interest. Libraries are excellent resources for exploring.  
  • Rhyme Time: Engage in rhyming games and activities. Rhymes are fun and help young children develop an ear for language, which is essential for reading readiness. 
  • Letter Recognition Games: Play games that involve spotting letters in the environment, like on signs or in books. You can also create homemade letter cards and have your child match them or arrange them in alphabetical order. 
  • Cooking Together: Involve children in simple cooking activities. Cooking involves reading recipes, measuring ingredients, and following steps, which are all educational. 
  • Involve Parents in Reading: Reading together as a family builds brains, strengthens bonds and resilience, and enhances children’s academic success by exposing them to richer vocabularies and complex narrative structures, crucial for developing strong reading and comprehension skills.  

” We know that by providing families resources to incorporate fun ways of learning at home throughout the summer, we can help students return to school ready to learn and succeed,” added Sioson Hyman. “Our Super Summer Learning Adventures Program is designed to make learning a fun and integral part of the summer for every child and their family.” 

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