Closing the Gap on Summer Learning Loss

I have many fond memories of the bell ringing on the last day of school. It was a time to celebrate because for the next eight to ten weeks I was free!  No homework, no tests, no writing assignments and no responsibility! This is probably the thought for many children on their last day of school. Summer is a happy time, when “kids can be kids” and many youth have opportunities to experience enrichment-type activities such as summer camps, trips to museums, parks, libraries and vacations with family.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for all children. When the school doors close many children struggle to access educational opportunities, as well as basic needs such as healthy meals and sufficient adult supervision.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, “research spanning 100 years 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 summer.”

There are a number of providers that offer summer opportunities to children at little to no cost, however it is not just up to providers to continue learning during the summer months. According to Scholastic, three strategies that will help readers improve reading during the summer and beyond are:

  1. Six books to summer success – Take advantage of the library and ask for help when selecting the right book for your child’s age, interests and abilities.
  2. Read something every day – Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Using the newspaper, comics, magazines, grocery store signs or billboards along the road are great ways to incorporate reading throughout the day.
  3. Keep reading aloud – Reading aloud benefits all ages, especially those who are struggling. Not only does reading aloud build listening comprehension, it also provides knowledge and experience with text.

Summer 2015 in Dubuque

A number of Grade-Level Reading partners offer literacy or enrichment-based programming opportunities during the summer months to help children avoid the summer slide. Learn more about each program by clicking the organization below.



  1. Summer program teaches entrepreneurial skills - Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading - July 20, 2015

    […] The Playground Explorations Program is being offered by Leisure Services and is just one of many summer enrichment programs being offered throughout the community this summer by GLR partners. Click here to see more programs being offered and to learn more about how to prevent the summer sli…. […]

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