Books on Break Combats Summer Learning Loss

By Elaine Erteschik, Communications Manager, Durham’s Partnership for Children

To succeed in school and life, children need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. The summer months are almost here for students in Durham Public Schools, and we know that access to books in the summer is vital to every child’s academic success.

How do students hold on to what they have learned as they enjoy the summer break, especially relatively new readers, like those who are just finishing kindergarten? When children aren’t in school, they forget crucial skills they learned during the year – at least a month of reading achievement, on average. This phenomenon, known asummer learning loss, is particularly detrimental for children from low-income families. With limited access to books and other academic opportunities in the summer, summer learning loss accounts for 80% of the income-based achievement gap.

Our friends at Book Harvest have developed a way to combat summer learning loss. Thanks to donations and volunteers, they are providing a new string backpack and 10 self-selected books to elementary school students on free or reduced lunch at the start of summer. This year, Books on Break is providing backpacks and books to 2,525 low-income elementary school students in Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro!

Books on Break is taking place at a number of elementary schools in Durham, including Y.E. Smith, Forest View, Lakewood and Glenn – all schools that have Transition to Kindergarten Transition Teams.

We are grateful to Book Harvest for their partnership and their efforts to support early literacy for children in Durham! For more information, please click here.

This post was originally published on the DPFC website. Many thanks to DPFC for allowing us to share it!