The so called “summer slide” in educational achievement hits young children from low-income families the hardest. Without opportunities to read together with adults, to practice new skills and to gain exposure to new words and ideas, far too many young children lose two to three months of reading skills each summer. Scholars have documented that two-thirds of the ninth-grade reading achievement gap can be attributed to this loss in the elementary school years alone.
How can schools and communities address this troubling and costly phenomenon? Could well-deployed technology help close the summer learning gap? Several national organizations and educators are exploring how digital connections may bring new resources to families and help parents tap into affordable and motivating opportunities for their children to experience the joy of reading and learning, offline and on.
New America held a discussion on the impact of summer learning loss and the possibilities for anytime, anywhere summer learning. This event was co-hosted by New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Join the conversation online using #summerslide and following @NewAmericaEd.
Michael H. Levine
Founding Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop Remarks
Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy, White House Domestic Policy Council
Senior Fellow, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
CEO, National Summer Learning Association
Arizona Literacy Director, Read On Arizona (via video)
National Director, Abriendo Puertas/Open Doors
Professor of Early Childhood and Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, New York University
Senior Vice President for Education and Children’s Content, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Director, Early Education Initiative & Director, Learning Technologies Project, New America