Summer Learning

Stronger Me, Stronger We — THIS BOOK IS COOL!  

Research spanning 100 years has proven that students experience academic learning loss when they are out of school for the summer and do not engage in educational activities. This loss can set them back in their learning progress and cause them to lose ground academically. The problem is especially severe among children from asset-limited families. The summer learning initiative is focused on creating opportunities for summer learning to stop the “summer slide” and help close the achievement gap.

In the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 virus disrupted schools, after-school programs, and plans for summer learning, SCGLR sprang into action to give children and families motivation to keep reading by developing a program called THIS BOOK IS COOLl!—fully funded by The Patterson Foundation.

Webisodes of THIS BOOK IS COOLl! are created for grade levels PreK – Grade 3. Each webisode features a high-quality book, a special guest from the community, a focus on vocabulary building, and a creative and fun activity that the children can do with their families.

2019 Locations Served Total Students Participating Of the 8,709 students... Total Number of Books Read
Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties 97 8,709 – a 60% increase over 2018 6,876 students read six or more books – a 40% increase over 2018 198,570 – a 57% increase over 2018

With an average loss of more than two months in reading achievement during the summer, progress toward third-grade reading proficiency for children from asset-limited families is greatly slowed and the achievement gap with their middle-class peers is exacerbated. Summer learning loss is also cumulative, making it nearly impossible to “catch up” year after year.

Studies also document that trying to rectify summer learning loss each year by re-teaching forgotten material is costly in terms of both money for the school system and time for the teachers and other students in the classroom.

Funders, policymakers, and community leaders can help schools and local organizations address summer learning loss by supporting strong programs and by engaging more children in summer learning opportunities. Using intentional techniques, summer learning can take on a new form by blending core academic learning, hands-on activities, arts, sports, technology, and meaningful relationships to achieve success.

Recently, Beth Duda led a conversation outlining the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge as part of the second installment of the GLR Campaign Learning Conversation series.

To avoid the “summer slide” in our region, SCGLR partnered with 83 summer camp providers and summer learning academies to encourage reading and engage the kiddos in creative ways to foster curiosity and a love for reading.

Grab a notepad, and watch the 50-minute webinar below to learn how you can upload the Summer Reading Challenge into your #GLReading community or view the PowerPoint presentation.

For more information on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s efforts to reduce summer learning loss nationwide, please visit