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    The Summer Slide

    Kim Mattingly

    Children love summer vacation. They don’t have to go to school, therefore they don’t have homework. They can stay up late and sleep all day if they want to. I can recall going the whole summer without picking up a pencil at all. Good stuff!

    The freedom that summer brings does have some downsides. The learning losses that children experience during the summer are a big problem. Sometimes referred to as “Summer Slide,” these losses can have devastating effects on a child’s school achievement. A good example of what the Summer Slide is and how it works can be found at

    Low income and disadvantaged children are particularly at risk for summer learning losses because they lack access to books and other learning materials. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007). Research also shows that children score lower on standardized tests after their summer break than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer break. According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year…. It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”    (

    You can help prevent the summer slide by following these tips:
    1. Studies have shown that reading just five books during the summer can prevent the regression that occurs when school is out.
    2. Encourage your child to read every day. Even if it’s just a menu or TV guide, reading every day can help prevent the summer slide.
    3. Finally, reading aloud to your child can help your child develop good listening and comprehension skills.

    The Daviess County Public Library can help with all of the suggested tips. We offer a wide variety of children’s books and audiobooks from which children can choose. The 2014 Fizz Boom Read Summer Reading program is the perfect opportunity for your child to read their five books this summer. After he/she has read five books, he/she will receive a free book and a grand prize entry. Therefore, your child will have an additional incentive to read. Also, participant in the Summer Reading program will receive a form offering a chance to win a $1,000 College Savings Fund from the KHEAA.

    For more information on the Summer Reading program visit or call 270-684-0211.

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