Ready.Set.READ! Blog

Summer Slide Awareness: #KeepKidsLearning

Posted by: Alicia Hartman, Ready.Set.Read! and Campaign Manager, United Way of Berks County

Summer is a time when kids look forward to enjoying warm weather and time off from school. What children, and sometimes parents, don’t know is the relaxed moments of summer can cause children to fall behind in their learning. According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and Campaign for Grade Level Reading, most students lose two months of mathematical skills every summer, and low-income children typically also lose another two to three months in reading. By the end of fifth grade, disadvantaged children are nearly 2 ½ to 3 years behind their middle to higher income peers in reading.

These alarming statistics around summer learning loss, also known as “summer slide,” prompted United Way’s Ready.Set.READ! (RSR) initiative to form the Berks Summer Learning Coalition. We realized the children in our community were missing opportunities during the summer. The mission of the Coalition is to raise awareness of the importance of children continuing to learn throughout the summer and to provide access to summer learning resources so that students return to school in the fall ready to succeed.

Help to #KeepKidsLearning over the summer! If they don’t, they may lose what was learned throughout the school year. How can you help the kiddos in your life?

  • Call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211. The information and referral specialist will find summer learning opportunities and programs near you. 2-1-1 is a free, informational resource available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are more than 174 summer learning opportunities at 41 organizations throughout Berks County currently in the 2-1-1 database.
  • Read aloud 15 minutes every day with the kids in your life. Talk about what you see when you’re walking, driving, at the store, at the playground and at the library.
  • Explain what things are, how things work and where you find things.
  • Celebrate Summer Learning Week, which is July 8-13, 2019.

Let’s help stop summer slide so more kids can succeed! For other ideas and tips, visit www.uwberks.org/summer.

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