Why It Matters
During the summer months, young people living in poverty often don't have access to essential resources that support their academic and developmental progress. As a result, they experience well-documented setbacks in academic performance and nutrition. These setbacks contribute to growth in the achievement gap and to the problem of childhood obesity.
Research shows that:
- Most students fall more than two months behind in math over the summer.
- Low-income children fall behind two months in reading while middle and upper-income peers make slight gains. By fifth grade, low-income children can be 2 years behind in reading.
- Up to two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between poor and more advantaged ninth-graders is due to unequal summer learning experiences during elementary school years.
- Only one in five children who receives free or reduced price meals during the school year gets them in summer.
Studies show that quality summer learning programs improve youth outcomes. Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates and better preparation for college.
For more information about the risks of summer learning loss, visit www.summerlearning.org.