Summer
Reading

4

“Reading gives me something to do over the summer while I’m at home during the day with dad. Dad likes to read in the mornings so I’ll get a book, too, and read with him.”

— 8-year-old boy, IN

KEY FACTS ABOUT SUMMER READING

When it comes to children’s views on summer reading, common patterns in reading attitudes persist. Enjoyment of summer reading is highest among younger children and girls, dropping as age increases and among boys.

Children’s Agreement with Statement:
“I really enjoy reading books over the summer”

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK12. Please tell me whether you agree a lot, agree a little, disagree a little, or disagree a lot with each of the following statements.
NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

Across children’s gender and age, parents are more likely to believe in the value of summer reading. The gap in views between parents and kids grows as children’s ages increase.

Children’s and Parents’ Agreement with Statement:
“Reading books during the summer will help me/my child during the school year”

Base: Children Ages 6–17 and Parents with Children Ages 6–17

QK12. Please tell me whether you agree a lot, agree a little, disagree a little, or disagree a lot with each of the following statements.
QP19. Please indicate whether you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly with each of the following statements.
NOTE: The data in this chart are the summary of both “Agree a lot” and “Agree a little” among kids, and “Agree strongly” and “Agree somewhat” among parents. See Appendix D for full question responses.

Parents say summer reading helps their child during the school year mainly because it helps keep their kid’s brain active and that reading requires constant practice.

Reasons Parents Agree “Reading books over the summer
will help my child during the school year”

Base: Parents with Children Ages 6–17 Who Agree with Summer Reading Statement

QP37a. Earlier you mentioned that you think reading books over the summer will help your child during the school year. In your own words, why
do you think this is the case? NOTE: Data is among parents who meet the conditions described above, and were randomly selected to answer the question and provided a response. n=421

Kids who like reading over the summer say it is because they simply enjoy it and because it’s a fun way to pass the time.

Reasons Children Agree “I really enjoy reading
books over the summer”

Base: Children Ages 6–17 Who Agree with Summer Reading Statement

K29a. Earlier in the survey you mentioned that you enjoy reading over the summer. Please share with us why that is.
NOTE: Data is among kids who meet the conditions described above, and were randomly selected to answer the question and provided a response. n=219.

On average, kids read 8 books over the summer, but this varies widely by age, with only one in five 12–17 year-olds and one in five kids from lower-income families not reading any books at all.

Number of Books Children Have Read Over the Summer
Base: Children Ages 6–17

Percentage of Children Who Did Not Read Any Books Over the Summer
Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK17. About how many books have you read over the summer?

Nearly half of parents with children ages 6–17 (48%) have heard of the summer slide–the loss of academic skills over the school break–with lower-income parents far less likely to have heard of this (38%).

Percentage of Parents Who Have Heard, Read or Received
Advice about the Summer Slide

Base: Parents of Children Ages 6–17

QP29. Have you heard, read or received advice about the summer slide, that is, the loss of skills during the time when students are not in school, as it relates to kids’ reading?

Some sources of information on the summer slide vary by age, but in all cases, teachers and schools are the number one source.

Sources of Information about the Summer Slide

Base: Parents of Children Ages 6–17 Who Have Heard, Read, or
Received Advice about the Summer Slide

QP30. Which of the following were sources of information for you about the summer slide? NOTE: The net items combine “my child’s grandparents,” “other relatives/friends” and “other parents” and “other” and “my child’s pediatrician” respectively. See Appendix D for full question responses.

Ways parents try to ensure summer reading at home vary dramatically by children’s ages, with taking kids to the library as the top response, at 57% among total children ages 6–17.

Ways Parents Ensure Their Child Reads Books Over the Summer

Base: Parents of Children Ages 6–17

QP28. Which of the following, if any, are ways in which you try to ensure your child reads books over the summer?
NOTE: The net item is a combination of “Let my child choose books from the school book fair to read over the summer”
and “Let my child choose books from an order form that my child’s teacher sends home.”
In this analysis, Hispanic families are compared with non-Hispanic families and unless otherwise specified, all differences that are highlighted between the groups are statistically significant at the 90% confidence level or higher. The Hispanic families in the survey represent wide geographic and socio-economic diversity, yet it should be noted that the survey was only offered in English. See Appendix C for sample sizes.
In this analysis, African-American families are compared with non-African-American families and unless otherwise specified, all differences that are highlighted between the groups are statistically significant at the 90% confidence level or higher. See Appendix C for sample sizes.