May Medical Minute

Summer is rapidly approaching and we all know what that means-summer reading! One of the main factors that worries educators is what is known as “Summer Slide”, the time when children and families seem to forget about school, and reading, unfortunately resulting in a huge loss of learning.

These losses are more dramatic for children from economically disadvantaged families. Several factors lead to this Summer Slide, as reported by Scholastic: lack of understanding by parents of the Summer Slide, no or little reading by children or by caregivers to children and lack of access to books when schools are closed. In 2018, 20% of children ages 6-17 report reading ZERO books during the summer!

Economically disadvantaged parents (income under $35K/year) are less likely to be aware of  summer slide concerns compared to advantaged parents (Income >34K) by a 20-point margin.

When schools are closed for the summer, children have less access to books.  It may be hard or nearly impossible for families to take advantage of libraries with the challenges of awareness, work schedules and transportation.  The good news is that ROR-KC helps fill the gap. Providing children with books of their own is a powerful tool to support their ongoing early literacy and literacy skills.  Fostering the love of books later becomes a love of reading and love of learning.

-Sallie Page-Goertz, MN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC

  1. Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 7th ed.  2019.The Summer Reading Imperative

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