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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. 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. The summer learning initiative focuses on creating opportunities to stop the “summer slide” and help close the achievement gap.

Studies 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 families to participate 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.

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