Students can lose valuable academic skills over the summer. This is referred to as the summer slide. Students slide backwards and actually lose progress. Students who lose the valuable skills often lose skills each summer of their school career, and the loss adds up.
The good news is that the summer slide is preventable! One of the biggest ways to prevent the summer learning loss is by reading over the summer. Encourage your students to read every day, and not only can the summer slide be prevented, but students can actually make gains over the summer.
Many public libraries offer summer reading incentive programs. I encourage you to do a little research so you can pass the info along to parents.
Here is a brochure that you can send home to parents. It explains the importance of summer reading and gives parents ideas for encouraging summer reading. There is a reading challenge, too. I actually created this several years ago, but I have recently updated it with better graphics and fonts and also updated links. This is a FREE printable, and there are a few different printing options. It is perfect to send home with the final report card!
You can print it in color, like above, or there is also a black and white version. Print it on colorful paper, and it looks great! There are two different reading challenges, one for older students and one for younger. Be sure to print the one that is best for you. You are welcome to share this with your entire school.
I also compiled a list of websites for you if you want to read more about the summer slide:
Slowing the Summer Slide from ASCD
Summer Slide Research from the NY Public Library
Stopping the Summer Slide from the US Dept. of Education
Summer Slide from the Colorado Dept. of Education
Summer Learning Loss from Huffington Post
Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide from Scholastic