June 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Reading over the summer
Keep kids on track
As schools let out for summer, Washington’s children will settle into a long-awaited summer break. However, for more than 283,000 of Washington’s children living in poverty, summer means boredom, loss of free school meals and limited access to programs that keep them learning, nourished and ready to return to school on track in the fall. [“Editorial: Reading is fundamental,” Opinion, June 19.]
Summer learning loss, the process by which school-year knowledge gains are lost during summer months, happens if youth are not engaged in learning activities. Research shows the cumulative impact of summer learning loss is the single greatest contributor to the achievement gap for 9th-graders — a time when we see higher rates of students dropping out of school.
With June 21 as National Summer Learning Day, we need to keep in mind the role that summer learning plays in closing the achievement gap and protecting Washington’s investments. Keeping all Washington’s children on track during the summer will provide opportunities that allow them to achieve and graduate ready for college and a career.
Lynn Tucker, education policy and advocacy director, School’s Out Washington, Seattle
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