The impact of a voluntary summer reading program on summer reading loss

Reading comprehension is one of the key skills students develop in elementary school. The ability to read well can be deterred by a lack of access to print, which can be exacerbated over the summer when students do not have access to their classroom and school libraries. This leads to decreased reading levels over the summer months. Lack of text access over consecutive summers, can lead to considerable reading level drops which creates a gap between the grade level and reading level. This primarily impacts students who may be reading at or below grade level and over time it is compounded for students who are struggling to keep up. This study examined the effect of a voluntary summer reading program at a rural California school to negate summer reading loss. In this program, the students came to the school library, checked out books, and took at least five Accelerated Reader tests to verify that a book was read. The analysis of the data revealed that participants gained four months in their reading level. Although the small sample size did not make the results statistically significant, there were various implications from the data.