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News | June 2, 2014

Keep Kids off the Summer Slide with Summer Learning Activities From ReadWriteThink.org


ReadWriteThink.org is proud to be a free resource for teachers, caregivers, and out-of-school practitioners, and our Parent & Afterschool Resources section offers activities, tips, and tools specifically designed for learning outside of the classroom.

Evidence has shown that all students suffer from the “summer slide” if they don’t read and write during the summer break. This is especially true of low-income students who have little access to books in their homes and communities (Neuman & Celano, 2001). Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen have done extensive research on how to address academic setbacks during the summer, particularly of poor students. They recommend that schools consider a summer book distribution program, which can be a “potentially powerful initiative” (2013).

We Give Books logoThis summer, ReadWriteThink is pleased to partner again with the Pearson Foundation’s We Give Books for the second year. Their summer program, Read for My Summer, highlights a book each week in three different age categories (0-3, 4-7, 8-10) that caregivers can read with a child from the free, online We Give Books library. For every book read online, children can elect to donate a book to a selected public library, providing greater access to books for low-income kids.

Each book listing includes fun activities and reading tips to help kids make a deeper connection with what they’ve just read. ReadWriteThink has Parent & Afterschool activities to accompany many of the highlighted books:

Fantastically Fun Word Families
Use the Word Mover mobile app to play with word families and listen for rhyme, then sort real and nonsense words, alphabetize the words, and create a story or poem using the words.


Blast Off to Learn New Words
Boost vocabulary by taking an imaginary trip into space. After a lunar “landing,” children return to Earth with a galaxy of new words.


Write "Moving" Sports Poetrymale athlete running
We've all heard the expression “poetry in motion”—this activity gets children writing poems about grace and movement using photos of athletes.


Amazing Biographies: Writing About People Who Change the World
After reading about historical figures and other important people that have changed the world, children choose someone that they consider to be “amazing”—either someone they’ve heard about or someone they know—and create a book page that highlights this person.


Ask students to share their work (with a guardian's permission) using #RWTsummer. We look forward to seeing how kids are tackling the summer slide!


Allington, R.L., & McGill-Franzen, A. (2013, April/May). Eliminating summer reading setback: How we can close the rich/poor reading achievement gap. Reading Today, 10-11.

Neuman, S., & Celano, D. (2001). Access to print in low-income and  middle-income communities. Reading Research Quarterly, 36(1), 8-26.