A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor addresses the "summer slide", or the learning loss that often occurs in children during the summer break from school.

Here at BookPage, we were particularly interested in one reported study:

In a study that compares students who received free books over the summer with students who didn’t, Richard Allington, an education professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, found encouraging results. He tracked low-income first- and second-graders in Florida who chose a dozen free books at their reading level for three summers in a row.

“The effect was equal to the effect of summer school,” Professor Allington says. “Spending roughly $40 to $50 a year on free books for [each kid] began to alleviate the achievement gap that occurs in the summer.”

The study couldn’t show how many of the books the students actually read, but the students who sent in reading logs answering brief questions about the books showed even stronger achievement gains.


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is encouraging  kids to read at least five books over the summer. What books are your kids or students reading? Feel free to recommend a top five!

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