Scholastic Canada | Summer Reading Challenge


10 Critical Facts about Summer Reading

Losses from the "Summer Slide"—learning or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative, creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students.

  1. By the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a two-year lag in reading achievement.
  2. Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.
  3. Teachers typically spend between 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material students have forgotten over the summer.
  4. It is estimated that the "Summer Slide" accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle- and upper-income peers.
  5. During the school year, lower income children's skills improve at close to the same rate as those of their more advantaged peers—but over the summer, middle- and upper-income children's skills continue to improve, while lower income children’s skills do not.
  6. Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed.
  7. 3rd graders who can't read on grade level are four times less likely to graduate by age 18 than a proficient reader.
  8. Having reading role-model parents or a large book collection at home has a greater impact on kids' reading frequency than does household income.
  9. An overwhelming 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they picked out themselves.
  10. Ninety-six percent of parents and eighty-four percent of children aged 6-17 agree that reading a book over the summer helps kids during the school year.

  1. Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap, Jimmy Kim, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2004.
  2. Ameliorating summer reading setback among economically disadvantaged elementary students, Richard Allington, April 2007.
  3. Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwistle, Linda Steffel Olson, April 2007.
  4. Why Summer Matters in the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap, Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Frazen, August 2009.
  5. The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen, Libraries Unlimited, 1993.
  6. Annie E.. Casey Foundation, Hernandez, Donald J., 2011.
  7. The Kids and Family Reading Report™ Canadian edition conducted by YouGov and Scholastic, 2017.

Check out these links to help prevent the Summer Slide

Top Way Parents Ensure their Child Reads over Summer: Read the results from the Kids & Family Reading Report, Canadian Edition and learn more about the attitudes and behaviours around reading books for fun and how parents encourage their children to read over the summer.

Prevent Summer Slide: Keep your kids in the reading habit during the break so they don’t fall behind when classes resume.

Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide: Try these strategies to help your reader improve her reading during the summer and beyond.

7 Ways to Stop the Summer Slide: Get inspired with 7 awesome ways beat "brain drain" this summer.

Have you heard of the summer slide?

Summer slide is the loss of skills during the time when students are not in school.

Only 31% of parents have heard about the summer slide.

Parents say that teachers and schools are the #1 source of information on the summer slide.

Image credits