Why is summer learning loss an important problem?


Over the past decade, researchers have studied the problem of summer learning loss and the impact on student achievement.  Supporting continuous reading growth, continues to be a problem --particularly for low-income students. To learn more about this problem, click on the video (on the right).

What is READS for Summer Learning?

READS for Summer Learning is an evidence-based summer reading intervention with both in-school and home-based components. READS was designed for children in 2nd through 5th grade who are at risk of experiencing summer reading loss. The goal of the program is to improve reading comprehension by fostering children’s engagement with books over the summer. We believe that children are “engaged” with books when they are motivated to read them on their own and in ways that increase their reading comprehension. The three key elements (“ABCs”) of READS for Summer Learning are:

ccess to books at home, including a wide variety of texts.

B ooks that are well-matched to each child’s reading level and interests.

 omprehension activities, including teacher scaffolding of summer book reading through end-of-year lessons, summer follow-up phone calls, and family support of summer reading.

Free access to the READS Summer Learning program!

The READS Summer Learning program is designed for use by summer school programs and parents and is free for all to use.  We encourage parents to read with their students and to complete the activities that go along with each book.  Reading together is fun!

Using the program is easy. 

  • We provide a set of six lessons that summer school teachers (or parents) can do with their students to prepare them to read.  ​Stay tuned!  We're in the process of digitizing lessons for grades 2, 3, and 4 and will provide links to each set of lessons just as soon as they're available. 

  • Next, students can choose a book to read from a list of fun fiction and nonfiction books that are found in most public libraries. The booklist is sorted alphabetically and we provide the author, ISBN#, and Lexile (reading level)

What problem are we trying to address?  Brian Williams, Of NBC, describes how the reading gap between middle- and low-income children increases over time.

Watch the video to learn more about the READS for Summer Learning program

What is included in the READS Summer Learning program?


We are in the process of posting introductory lessons for grades 2-4 students.  The lessons prepare students to read over the summer. 


We will provide 

  • 6 introductory lessons for grades 2, 3, and 4 students

  • Free access to the digital activities included on the platform.​ Activities are tied to the books. 

 Read more about our work in this Wallace Foundation report
READS: Helping Children Become Summer Bookworms
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READS Lab, Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA  02138