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Summer Reading Loss: Building Family Literacy to Help Students Stay Strong Over the Summer

Manager of Professional Learning for Voyager Sopris Learning
Updated on May 27, 2021
  • Literacy
  • Reading Rangers

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Spring leads to summer, and summer usually leads to a change of routine that shifts how students interact with words, text, and all forms of literacy. Known as summer reading loss, this phenomenon affects many students—especially those who are already performing below grade-level expectations. With this in mind, many school districts offer summer sessions to not only maintain but increase reading gains made throughout the school year. And although parents typically support (and are often quick to take advantage of) these opportunities, many may wonder what more they can do to bolster school districts’ efforts to mitigate summer reading loss.

The good news is that summer reading loss is by no means unavoidable—in fact, according to a study in The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, it is not universal among students.

According to a piece published in the journal The Reading Teacher, cultivating an interest in and access to books and other reading materials is a key factor in minimizing summer reading loss by facilitating engagement in literacy, both incidentally and directly. Visiting the local library, following recipes while cooking together, reading directions for how to set up a new toy or gadget, and turning on closed captioning while kids are watching television are all examples of ways that parents can create family literacy opportunities to make reading fun and useful instead of dreaded and boring.

Using a program such as Reading Rangers is another avenue through which to engage young readers. By pairing reading practice with fun, this interactive online learning tool guides children through amazing environments to save an array of creatures from animal tracker Buckleboot, all while reading and learning.

“[My child] views each Reading Rangers journey and passage as a fun challenge and loves to beat Buckleboot, as it sparks her competitive nature!” – Mitchell Coats, Oklahoma

So, why not spark your child’s love of reading by making literacy a family affair this summer?


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About the Author
Pam Austin
Pam Austin
Manager of Professional Learning for Voyager Sopris Learning

Pam Austin has more than 30 years’ experience as an educator. After she rose through the classroom, school, and district levels of New Orleans Public Schools, her role expanded to nationwide instructional training and support as an implementation coordinator for intervention curriculum. This led to a position as senior product marketing manager for Lexia Learning: Voyager Sopris Learning, where she is currently director of product training and instructional technology. Pam considers herself to be a teacher who understands the challenges facing educators today, and a firm believer that “at-risk” students can learn and all teachers can hone their craft to make this happen.

Learn more about Pam Austin