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The dangers of 'The Summer Slide' | How to prevent summer learning loss

No, not the one on the playground. The one that comes back to school time.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Summer Slide is when students lose some of the academic progress they made during school because they don't engage in learning during the summer.

A recent study found students in grades 2nd through 9th on average lost up to 30% of their school year learning over the summer. 

This is cumulative and can never be gained back. 

Tara Baxter, the President of West Michigan Reading Council says it's a very real problem. 

"Often students lose academics over the summer because they are not doing as much academic work, because of all of their free time," she says. 

Younger students are the most vulnerable. 

"They are more at risk for the Summer Slide because they are at that crucial stage in their development," she adds. 

To avoid the Summer Slide all experts agree to get the kids to pick up a book. 

Let them pick their own because they are more likely to enjoy and finish the book, and keep it fun. 

Baxter says to sneak it in whenever and wherever you can. " Even for the littlest thing, your driving in the car..and you say Hey! what's that? a Mcdonald's sign? Yes! Even something as simple as that can help. Just anything you can do," she says adding, "Try to fit it in, even if it's just 10 minutes. Even if it's just three times a week, anything is better than nothing":

Reading during the summer is a great way to combat this, and it's essential for students to avoid the Summer Slide, for several reasons. 

  1. Retain Academic Skills: When students don't engage in learning activities, they lose some of the academic skills they acquired during the school year. Reading is a great way to keep their skills sharp and retain what they learned.
  2. Improve Vocabulary: Reading during the summer can help students improve their vocabulary by exposing them to new words and concepts that they might not have come across during the school year.
  3. Enhance Comprehension Skills: Reading helps students improve their comprehension skills, which are essential for success in all academic subjects. It helps them understand complex ideas and analyze the information they encounter.
  4. Foster a Love of Learning: When students read during the summer, they develop a love of learning that can stay with them throughout their lives. It can encourage them to explore
  5. It can encourage them to explore new subjects and develop a lifelong passion for knowledge.
  6. Preparation for the Next School Year: Reading during the summer prepares students for the next school year, helping them to hit the ground running when they return to school in the fall. This can help them avoid the frustration of feeling like they've fallen behind.

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