The Importance of Summer Reading

Students in Alabama have worked even harder this past school year due to the entrance of the Common Core Standards. They were tested and taught like they’ve never been before. Additionally, the knowledge that they obtain from the previous grade has always been necessary for the next grade, but it is especially important now since their success in the upcoming grade depends heavily on it and since the Common Core Standards are benchmarked. So where does summer reading fit into the equation?

Well, according to several studies, if children are not engaged in some type of reading activity, their reading skills will surely fall behind. In fact, it is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected (Cooper et al. 1996). Libraries offering summer reading programs to motivate children to read and prevent what educators call the “summer slide” can assist students greatly by keeping them on track and preparing them for the upcoming grade. For more research that indicates different aspects of the importance of summer reading, visit the Academic Search Premier Database on the Birmingham Public Library’s website at

Cooper, H., Nye B., Linsey J., et al. (1996). "The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta‐Analytic Review." Review of Educational Research, no. 66, 227‐268.

Karnecia Williams
Inglenook Library