Summer slide affects millions of children each year. Here are the key facts:
  • It's real. “Summer slide” is the decline in reading achievement children suffer just from being away from school. 
  • Kids who read, succeed. The amount of time that students spend reading for fun is the key predictor of students' academic achievement. (Gallik, 1999) 
  • It takes practice. Reading, like playing a musical instrument, is not something that is mastered once and for all at a certain age. It is a skill that continues to improve through practice. (“Becoming a Nation of Readers,” 1985) 
  • They've got to have the books. For the poorest children, a lack of books poses the greatest barrier to achieving literacy. Low-income families have on average four children's books in their homes. (Needleman, 2001) 
  • Role models matter. Students who see adults reading daily or weekly tend to read more and have higher reading scores than those who don't. (McCormick and Mason, 1986) 
  • The Bottom Line. With access to books and reading encouragement, kids can avoid summer slide. Studies show that reading just four or five books over the summer can be enough to maintain reading skills.