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Centennial, CO, CO 80112
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Summer Reading

Avoiding the Summer Academic Slide

Research has clearly stated that children who do not read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress. One of the easiest and best ways to avoid the dreaded summer slide is reading.

Not just any reading will do, though. It is important for children to read “just right” books while learning to read to avoid frustration with text that is too difficult.  Just right books are books that your child can read successfully on their own.  As reading researcher Allington (2009) states, “When readers are successful, that success builds all sorts of motivational aspects about reading activity…more reading produces better reading.”

More reading also means exposure to more words.  Students who choose to read for more than 20 minutes per day after school read about 1.8 million words per year compared to the student who reads for only one minute after school, who reads a mere 8,000 words per year, typically placing them in the lowest 10 percent on standardized reading assessments. When students read texts that are at their level they are able to read more accurately.  Research has shown us that “high levels of reading accuracy produce the best reading growth” (Allington, 2009).  Use the following link to search for books at your child’s grade level.

If your child participated in STAR testing this past year, you can use the information on the AR bookmark to choose books within his ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) reading level. Go to to search for appropriate books.


More Ideas for Summer Learning

  • Encourage daily writing by keeping a journal, writing letters or sending postcards.  Use the journal to dialogue back and forth with your child to encourage reading and writing.
  • Visit the local library and join the summer reading program.
  • Start a mini book club with neighborhood children or siblings.
  • Check out books on cd and let your child listen to written language.
  • Read fiction and non-fiction books together and use them as a springboard for deep conversation.
  • Find a series of books that your child enjoys and read them all.
  • Read and reread favorites to build fluency and comprehension.
  • Take a look at children’s magazines for a change of pace…even magazines about video games will get them reading!
  • Have a reluctant reader?  Try comic books!
  • Make a scrapbook of your summer activities or travel and have your child write captions telling who, what, where and why each event was special.
  • Play board games and have your child read the directions.
  • Have your child write the grocery list as you decide what is needed then take them along to the store and have them read the list.
  • Visit quality websites like Time for Kids, National Geographic Kids, Smithsonian Kids Collecting, Starfall, Scholastic, NASA Quest and CoolMath4Kids.

Summer is an important time to give kids a break to refresh but learning cannot be lost!  Capitalize on your child’s interests to make learning fun.  Make a daily or weekly schedule for learning, set goals together and celebrate your accomplishments.  The hard work will pay off as your child returns to school in August ready for the next grade!

illustration of bird thinking about reading
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