Summer Learning by the Numbers

We know that the summer slide – the phenomenon in which young people lose approximately two months of academic knowledge – is REAL and the academic losses are cumulative. Research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.

Summer Slide by the Numbers

  • Every summer, low-income youth lose 2 -3 months in reading while higher income youth make slight gains
  • By fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave low income students 2 1/2 to 3 years behind their peers.
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. 

This year, thousands of kids in Kansas City will attend quality, literacy-rich summer learning programs in an effort to prevent the summer slide. The Upper Room, Boys & Girls Club, Freedom Schools, and YMCA host full-day programs with certified teachers, volunteer tutors, and fun, enriching activities for elementary aged kids. Since 2013 enrollment in these programs has quadrupled and appears to be on the rise. Kids can also participate in summer reading programs hosted by Mid-Continent Public Library and The Kansas City Public Library, which provide incentives, like free books, for reading during the summer months. 

Turn the Page KC’s summer learning collaborative aims to fill summer initiatives to capacity, providing unique, literacy-rich experiences to participating families. We’ve hired dozens of tutors to provide one-on-one services to students enrolled in summer learning programs across the metro area; we’re working to spread the word about summer learning loss and how community members can get involved; and, are looking forward to hosting a STEAM themed summer learning celebration at the Sprint Center in June. 

Even when school is out of session, reading is still in! Join our efforts to prevent the summer slide and ensure that all kids return to school in the fall with the skills they need to succeed.

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Published by

Jordan Frazier

Third grade teacher

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