Kids Media Matters

Putting The Breaks On The “Summer Slide”


What is the “Summer Slide”

We all look forward to the rest and relaxation of summer. It’s good to take a break, but hot, lazy summer days with nothing to do may not be the best thing for our children. To succeed in school—and life—children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills such as reading and math. This is especially true during the summer months, when many children who do not participate in educational enrichment activities experience learning losses.

Called the “summer slide,” this phenomenon has long been of interest to educators and researchers. In 1996, researchers conducted a synthesis of 39 studies that indicated that summer learning loss equaled at least one month of instruction as measured by grade level equivalents on standardized test scores (view this research). In other words on average, children’s tests scores were at least one month lower when they returned to school in fall than scores were when students left in spring. 


Clearly, children will benefit from a high-quality summer program that helps them maintain and improve important skills. But how do you find one that really works? Kids Media Matters went looking for some answers, and found many examples of great summer reading models!

Throughout the summer we’ll be posting profiles of programs and organizations actively involved in promoting summer reading and improving skills. “Summer slide” can affect children at any age in their academic development, so each of the profiles feature a summer program that has demonstrated success with a particular age group.

Read More

What's So Super About Super Why Reading Camps?

Taking place for the third consecutive summer, Super Why Reading Camps are interactive learning adventures for ages 4-5-years-old.

There Are Good Books, And Then There Are Great Books
Designed for middle and high school students, the Great Books Summer Program invites young people to engage with the literary classics.

Boston Is A City Of Readers
A conversation with ReadBoston executive director Theresa Lynn.

Summer Surfing (Online, That Is!)

An interview with Christine Zanchi, WGBH web producer for Martha Speaks and Arthur.

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Every time children watch TV or surf the Web, they are learning something. But what are they learning? Grown-ups need to shepherd children through the maze of images that may shape their minds, for better or worse.

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