How to halt the summer slide by encouraging students to read | Series 1, Episode 10

How to stop the summer slide by encouraging students to read | Series 1, Episode 10

Episode 10

Episode 10 show notes

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Episode 10 transcript

How to halt the summer slide by encouraging students to read

Get ready to unlock the magic of summer reading challenges and discover how they can transform schools and students into literary superheroes!

Let’s dive right in. Summer reading challenges have become a tradition in many schools and for good reason. They bring a multitude of benefits that can make a significant impact on students’ educational journey. Keep listening for seven compelling reasons why summer reading challenges are a must for schools and students alike!

Reading boosts vocabulary power

According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, summer reading programs have shown a remarkable effect on vocabulary development.

When students engage in extensive reading during the summer break, they encounter a diverse range of words, phrases, and expressions. This exposure to rich vocabulary enhances their linguistic skills and helps them become articulate communicators.

So get your students locked into summer reading. Watch their words soar like eagles, and watch their vocabulary power take flight!

Reading challenges can help to prevent the ‘Summer Slide’

Research conducted by the National Summer Learning Association indicates that students who don’t engage in reading activities over the summer can experience a significant loss of academic skills.

Summer reading challenges provide a lifeline to combat the dreaded “summer slide.” By keeping students actively engaged with books, they continue to exercise their minds, strengthen their reading comprehension, and maintain their academic progress.

So don’t let your child’s brain hit the snooze button this summer. Keep it fired up with the magic of books!

Foster a love for reading

A study published in the Journal of Research in Reading found that participation in summer reading programs increases students’ positive attitudes towards reading.

Summer reading challenges introduce students to a wide variety of books and genres, allowing them to explore their interests and discover new literary passions. As they embark on this adventurous reading journey, their love for books blossoms like a field of wildflowers.

Tell your students: unleash your inner book dragon and let your love for reading roar louder than ever before!

Reading during the holidays will enhance critical thinking skills

According to a report by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, summer reading programs promote critical thinking and problem-solving abilities in students.

Through the immersive experience of reading challenges, students encounter different perspectives, analyse complex storylines, and make connections between ideas. This intellectual stimulation nurtures their critical thinking skills, empowering them to become analytical thinkers and decision-makers.

So before term’s up present them with summer reading lists and set the challenge: get ready to unravel mysteries, solve puzzles, and sharpen your mind like a master detective!

Reading cultivates empathy and emotional Intelligence

A study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology revealed that reading fiction can enhance empathy and emotional intelligence in young readers.

Summer reading challenges, with less time pressure than curriculum reading, will help to expose students to diverse characters and compelling narratives that evoke empathy, compassion, and understanding. As they immerse themselves at their own pace in the lives of fictional heroes and heroines, they develop a deeper awareness of the human experience.

Remind your class: open your heart and let the stories you read ignite empathy within you, turning you into an emotional superhero!

Reading builds cultural competence

The American Library Association highlights that summer reading programs offer an opportunity to explore multicultural literature and promote cultural understanding.
Good Summer reading challenges with diverse book recommendations expose students to books from various cultures, allowing them to celebrate diversity and embrace different traditions, languages, and perspectives. This exposure broadens their cultural competence, fostering a more inclusive and interconnected society.

Let the pages of books be your passport to a world of cultures, where understanding and unity become your superpowers!

Reading books creates lifelong learners

A study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that students who read during the summer develop a stronger inclination towards lifelong learning.

By engaging in summer reading challenges, students develop a habit of continuous learning, curiosity, and intellectual growth. This habit becomes ingrained in their lives, transforming them into lifelong learners who never cease to explore the vast universe of knowledge.

Remind each reader in your class: with each book you read, you unlock a new chapter in your journey of lifelong learning. The adventure never ends!

So, let’s embrace the magic of books, dive into captivating stories, and embark on a summer of imagination and wonder.

Further reading

  • Grossen, B., 1997. A synthesis of research on reading from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, p.2002.
  • Alexander, K., Pitcock, S. and Boulay, M.C. eds., 2016. The summer slide: What we know and can do about summer learning loss. Teachers College Press.
  • Petscher, Y., 2010. A meta‐analysis of the relationship between student attitudes towards reading and achievement in reading. Journal of research in reading, 33(4), pp.335-355.
  • Hubbard, E.R., 1996. A conflict of values: An inquiry into the impact of local political decision-making on the funding of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in three selected decades. University of Pittsburgh.
  • Stillman, S.B., Stillman, P., Martinez, L., Freedman, J., Jensen, A.L. and Leet, C., 2018. Strengthening social-emotional learning with student, teacher, and schoolwide assessments. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 55, pp.71-92.
  • McChesney, E.M. and Wunar, B.W., 2017. Summer Matters: Making All Learning Count. ALA Editions. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.
  • Harrell, D.F. and Harrell, S.V., 2010. Strategies for arts+ science+ technology research: Executive report on a joint meeting of the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. tech. report, Nat’l Science Foundation, 22 Sept.

Additional sources:

  • Feedback from SRL focus group and teacher panel

Episode 10 credits

To see full details of licensing information, creative commons, GNU license credits and other attributions that apply to every episode of this podcast, see our School Reading List podcast credits information page.

Credits specific to this episode

  • Kevin MacLeod – Bummin on Tremelo – (purchased lifetime extended licensed registered to Tom Tolkien license ID FML-170359-11969).
  • Listener submitted monologues from debut and self-published authors including: Katy on Broadway by Ella English, Movie Night with the Wizziwigs by Saxon North-Cornell & The 4th Dimension by Dr. Joseph J. Pamelia.

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About Tom Tolkien

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Tom Tolkien is a highly qualified (BA Hons, PGCE, QTS) children's literature expert and teacher with over 25 years of experience. He has led inset courses, developed curriculum materials, spoken at conferences, advised on longlisting for several international children's literature literature awards and written for educational publishers including contributing to a BETT award-nominated app. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin