Seawell Literacy Newsletter

Summer Reading Edition

Enjoy Great Books This Summer!

Summer is right around the corner. Readers are always looking for the next great book. Peruse this newsletter to find:

  • Information about why summer reading matters
  • Links to several summer reading lists
  • Links to sites with summer reading activities

Why Summer Reading Matters

When children read what they enjoy, they learn to love reading and become better readers. Research has shown that children who continue to read during the summer vacation perform better in the fall when school resumes, and that even reading for simple summer enjoyment helps children with literacy skills, while helping prevent learning losses.

Reading researcher Richard Allington has some eye-opening and sobering information regarding the "summer slide" and its connection to the achievement gap. In an article from School Library Journal Allington said, "What we know is that any child who fails to read during the summer break will lose some reading proficiency. We also know that children from low-income families routinely lose two to three months of reading proficiency every summer while middle-class children gain about a month. This creates a three to four month gap every summer. From grade one to nine children from low-income families lose two or more years of reading proficiency, during the summers when school is not in session. According to Alexander and Entwisle this means that more than 80 percent of the rich/poor reading gap accumulates during the summers. They also note that children from low-income families gain as much reading growth during the school year, when schools are open, as middle-class children."

Richard Allington's research provides compelling evidence that children who are able to choose books to read over the summer can avoid the "summer slide." You can read more about his work here.

What can families do? A lot! Scroll down to find links, resources, and ideas to help your child find books to enjoy this summer.

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Word of the Week

Families of rising 3rd-6th graders will enjoy this site. Choose a "word of the week" for your family and see how often you can use it!

In June 2015, all links above were for appropriate content. As links can change, please check links before opening them with children.