Saturday, February 1, 2014

A better way to deal with summer loss in reading: Libraries

Published in the Seattle Times, Feb. 5, 2014 as "Provide better reading material"

There is a much cheaper and much more effective way to deal with summer learning loss than by adding 20 days of school to the school year. Provide more access to interesting reading material.

Research tells us that those living in poverty have the least access to books. They also show the most summer loss, and those who read more over the summer make better gains in reading achievement.

Let’s invest in libraries filled with books and other kinds of material that students would read, as well as librarians who would help children find what is right for them.

We are living in a golden age of literature for young people. Let’s take advantage of it.

Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus, University of Southern California

Poverty and access to books: Neuman, S. and Celano, D. 2001. Access to print in low-income and middle-income communities. Reading Research Quarterly 36(1): 8-26.

Summer loss and poverty, more reading and gains:
Allington, R. and McGill-Franzen, Anne. 2012. Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap. New York: Teachers College Press.
Heyns, Barbara. 1975.  Summer Learning and the Effect of School. New York: Academic Press.
Kim, Jimmy. 2003. Summer reading and the ethnic achievement gap, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk 9, no. 2:169-188.
Shin, Fay. and Krashen, Stephen. 2007. Summer Reading: Program and Evidence. New York: Allyn and Bacon.

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