I’ve posted previously about an upcoming study by Richard Allington showing the dramatic effect providing students books of their choice to read over the summer can have on student achievement (wow, that was a long sentence :)).
The study is not being published until the fall, but more information on it was released today.
Here’s an excerpt:
Allington compares the slide in reading ability to an athlete’s fitness. “Just like hockey players lose some of their skills if they stay off their skates and off the ice for three months, children who do not read in the summer lose two to three months of reading development,” Allington said.
According to the professors’ research, the summer reading setback is the primary reason for the reading achievement gap between children who have access to reading materials at home and those who do not. Students who do not have books at home miss out on opportunities to read. Those missed opportunities can really add up.
“What we know is that children who do not read in the summer lose two to three months of reading development while kids who do read tend to gain a month of reading proficiency,” Allington said. “This creates a three to four month gap every year. Every two or three years the kids who don’t read in the summer fall a year behind the kids who do.”
I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.
This is really valuable information and a must-read for all parents. I actually used to be one of those moms who believed that kids need a full break during the summer and it’s almost cruel to force them read/do summer work. But 15 minutes of reading a day is not the hardest task to accomplish whereas 2-3 months of lost reading development can be a serious issue.