The “summer slide” is not the newest addition to the water park and it is not the latest video game. It is not a ride you want any child in our community to be on. Unfortunately, too many of them are.
“Summer slide,” the common term for the loss of learning that occurs during the summer months when students are not in school, happens to most youth at some level, particularly in math. However, low-income youth lose about two months, about 22 percent of the school year, in reading while their middle-income peers actually make slight gains, according to the National Summer Learning Association. Even more concerning is the accumulative effect “summer slide” has on low-income children. By fifth grade, they average 2.5 to 3 grades behind.
60 percent of low-income families do not have age-appropriate books at home. Kids just simply aren’t reading in the summer and so they slide backward. Only about one-third of low-income youth participate in a summer learning opportunity and so they continue to slide backward.
“Summer slide” is affecting hundreds of children each year in our community-but it doesn’t have to.
There’s still time for kids to pick up a book this summer. Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. Take your children to your local library or bookstore and let them pick out a book they’re going to love today. They will be better readers tomorrow for it.
Are your kid’s grown? The success of all children in your community should still be important to you. Help children avoid the “summer slide” by supporting the United Way of Southeast Missouri’s education impact efforts. Drop off new or gently used books to our office at 430A Broadway, Cape Girardeau or visit our website, www.unitedwayofsemo.org and donate directly to our Education initiatives.