SEATTLE – This summer, 467 students from low-income families in Skagit County have books at home to read! Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program gave 5,604 new books to students at Mount Vernon elementary schools through the agency’s Book Up Summer program.
Book Up Summer in Skagit County follows a successful 3-year pilot program that helped more than 3,000 kindergarten, first and second grade students improve their reading skills. Seattle students who participated in the Book Up Summer pilot scored anywhere from 5% to 10% higher on state reading tests than previous students who had not participated.
Book Up Summer reduces the effects of summer learning loss by enabling students to maintain their reading skills during the summer. Book Up Summer is based on a 2010 Department of Education study centered on increasing students’ access to books in the summer months. Students at high-poverty elementary schools select 12 new books from a book fair at the end of the school year. By reading their books over the summer, participating students maintain their reading level, and avoid “summer slide,” otherwise known as “summer reading setback,” or “summer learning loss.” The data from this research was further evaluated by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, an independent organization whose mission is to promote programs that have been proven to be effective. In comparing Department of Education study with other well-known reading interventions, the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy found Department of Education study to be more effective and less costly.
Summer Learning Loss
Each summer, while children from affluent families make progress on their reading, the reading skills of students from low-income families actually decline. This summer learning loss is sometimes called “summer slide” or “summer reading setback.” When this trend is multiplied throughout 12 years of school, students from low-income families graduate several years behind – if they graduate at all.
According to Page Ahead’s Executive Director, Susan Dibble, “Book Up Summer is not only effective, but cost efficient. This is the best use of resources to finally make headway on the achievement gap problem.
About Page Ahead
Page Ahead gives kids in need the chance to read! The agency is dedicated to helping children in need succeed in school by developing strong reading skills. For more than 20 years, Page Ahead has been serving children, families, and communities, with new books for children, literacy support for families, and reading resources for communities. As the leading provider of children’s books and literacy services in Washington State, Page Ahead has given 2.7 million new books to 850,000 children in need since 1990. In October of 2012, School’s Out Washington presented Page Ahead with the Washington State After-school Hall of Fame Award for leadership and innovation in after-school programs.
For more information about Page Ahead or Book Up Summer please visit pageahead.org.
Source: Susan Dibble, Page Ahead Executive Director Press Memo