What is the Summer Slide?
Each year, educators prepare for the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation, often referred to as the "summer slide.” Children in low-income households fall behind an average of two to three months in reading during the summer. And, the summer slide is cumulative, with these learning losses building up each summer.
Access to books is critical. Reading just four to six books over the summer has the potential to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall, so even small steps are very beneficial.
Be A Part of the Solution
Join us in the fight against the summer slide by donating new or gently used:
Books for children in pre-K-6th grade | Chapter books | Dual language books
Drop off your donated books at United Way on Wednesday, April 28 or see below for additional ways to participate.
Drop off your new or gently used book donations with one of the following community partners:
Murfreesboro City Schools
2552 S. Church St.
3185 Franklin Road
805 Memorial Blvd.
100 E Vine St., Suite 200
Town of Smyrna
315 South Lowry Street
Wilson Bank and Trust
4195 Franklin Road
710 NW Broad Street
3110 Memorial Blvd.
640 S. Church St.
210 Commerce Dr.
• Access to books is critical. Reading just four to six books over the summer has the potential to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall, so even small steps are very beneficial.
• When children select reading materials themselves and read for enjoyment, they receive the most gains in reading achievement, including better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and grammatical development.
• Children and teens tend to read more when adults in their lives encourage them to read, and also when they see those adults reading often themselves.
• Children that feel that reading is fun tend to read more often, so summer programs that help make reading enjoyable and social are most successful.
• Children in low-income households fall behind an average of 2-3 months in reading during the summer. And, summer slide is cumulative, with these learning losses building up each summer.
• Summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap in reading between students from low-income households and their higher-income peers.
• Students from low-income households with access to books over the summer see significantly more gains in reading scores from spring to fall than students from high-income households with access to books and those from low-income households without access to books.
• Differences in children’s summer learning experiences during their elementary school years can ultimately impact whether they earn a high school diploma and continue to college.
The impact of the pandemic is expected to exacerbate pre-existing achievement gaps. An estimated 30% of Tennessee students will lose new literacy skills gained from the 2020-2021 school year over the summer. The Tennessee Department of Education expects learning loss to be greater among specific populations of students — including students from low-income families, students with disabilities and English language learners.