Keep kids learning during summer is vital for student success

Posted by Aja Williams on
Parents reading with children during summer keeps children engaged.
Flickr, Kelly Sikkema

When the school bell rings for the final time for the 2015-2016 school year, it doesn’t mean that learning should stop.

Summer learning loss, also known as the summer slide, creates a real problem that also aids the achievement gap. This is especially true among low-income families who have limited access and resources for summer learning.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, each summer low-income students lose two to three months in reaching achievement and two-months of grade-level equivalency in mathematics. These losses continue to build each passing summer.

Throughout communities across the country, several public media stations have worked with their local partners to engage parents and children throughout the summer in learning opportunities.

This past year, several of our American Graduate hub stations hosted a number of activities to push on the summer learning front, including:

  • WGBY in Springfield, Mass. hosted a “Summer of Fun & Learning,” which was a partnership between the station, HeadStart and YMCA. They hosted a number of visits with children in preschool through fourth grade for weekly media labs as well as reading and math skill building with PBS Kids resources. 
  • Mississippi Public Broadcasting hosted a Summer Learning Family Fun Day, which bolstered more than 3,000 attendees. The station provided a number of hands-on learning stations with PBS Kids resources and hosted live entertainment.
  • WXXI in Rochester, New York partnered with their local libraries to try to reach parents and children who were most at-risk for the summer slide. Using PBS Kids resources, the station hosted a kick-off event at their local library filled with hands-on activities, reading and other resources. Throughout the summer, the station also hosted a series related to STEM for kids to be able to explore science related topics and curriculum.

In addition to on-the-ground efforts, PBS Kids and PBS LearningMedia have a number of engaging and interactive online resources to keep kids learning throughout the summer months.

This year, National Summer Learning Day is July 14.

To learn more about summer learning loss or the importance of summer learning, visit the National Summer Learning Association.