The final bell rings for the school year – school is out for the summer! The last thing on a student’s mind is reading over the break. However, when students are not reading they slide back and lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year, also known as “summer slide.”
And that summer slide can add up! Research shows that summer slide is cumulative, with these learning losses building up each summer. Differences in children’s summer learning experiences during their elementary school years can ultimately impact whether they earn a high school diploma and continue to college. Sound familiar? 3rd Grade Reading, High School Graduation and College Readiness are all indicators of SA2020’s Education focus area that were established by the SA community!
What else does research show? Glad you asked! Research also shows that preventing summer slide is most effective when community organizations work together to encourage kids to read, make reading fun, and educate families about the importance of reading over the summer. That is why this summer, local nonprofits (and SA2020 Community Partners) Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, San Antonio Youth Literacy, and SA Youth have joined forces with the Najim Family Foundation to launch Super Summer Readers!
This 10-week program, conceived and funded by Harvey E. Najim, will provide students entering 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade with a designated reading time for one hour a day, three days a week, consisting of 30 minutes of paired reading and 30 minutes of reading extension activities. In addition to helping to prevent summer slide, it also will help to determine whether a relationship with a caring, supportive adult will help maintain, and/or enhance the children’s current reading level.
In addition to all the great organizations involved, we need your help! The Super Summer Readers program cannot be successful without the help from volunteers. Volunteers, also known as Reading Sidekicks, will assist pairs of students as they read books appropriate to the students’ reading level. Sidekicks will read with students: helping them figure out unknown words, asking questions to check the students’ understanding of the book, and encouraging their efforts to read fluently. And, since it is summer, the cool part about becoming a Sidekick is volunteers can sign up for one shift or multiple shifts throughout the summer!
Help us know out summer slide and super charge these summer readers! Click here to learn more about Super Summer Readers and sign up to volunteer.