Every summer, Delaware’s public libraries welcome schoolchildren to an exciting and educational series of activities, programs, and performances designed to bridge the gap between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. Summer Library Reading Programs are very common across the US- in fact, this type of program has existed for more than a century in one form or another- and attempt to combat what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has described as the “devastating impact” of summer slide, in which the average student loses the equivalent of almost a month of instruction during the summer break from structured educational activities, with disadvantaged students disproportionately affected (click here for more details.)
Dominican University received a research grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and partnered with the Colorado and Texas State Libraries on a three-year, evidence-based investigation into the impact of summer reading programs on student acheivment. You can read the executive summary below, but to summarize the summary, the researchers found that participation in these programs increased children’s scores on standardized reading tests and that their teachers reported increased confidence and participation in classroom activities overall on their return to school.
The full report is available at this link: The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap.