Avoiding the “summer slide” during family literacy day

Many students look forward to outdoor fun and games during the summer. But in the rush for summer fun, many students forget to read and continue their learning during summer months.  Known as the “summer slide”, students have the tendency to lose some of the gains they made during the previous school year by not being actively involved in learning all summer long.

At Lynn Camp Elementary, families had the opportunity to combine fun and reading, and learn how the two can be achieved by the entire family throughout the summer. On May 31, 2016, nearly 100 families participated in outdoor art, face painting and summer games when the Berea College Full-Service Community Schools Program hosted its first-ever Family Field Day for Literacy.


During the event, students earned tickets for completing each fun activity. After earning five tickets, students could exchange tickets for free books, with over 100 books given to students to read over the summer.

The goal of the family field day was to get books in the hands of students, so they will have an increased opportunity for summer reading.

“Studies show that when children do not read during the summer, they can lose up to two months of reading skill,” said Andrea McKeehan, family engagement specialist for the Full-Service Community Schools Program. “By the time they enter middle school, children who do not read during the summer can be 2 ½ years behind on their reading performance.”

McKeehan said there are many fun ways to keep kids reading during the summer:

  • Visiting the library and participating in its summer reading program
  • Reading with children at home
  • Play reading games
  • Use one or more of the many reading apps for smart phones and tablets, such as ABC Mouse and Read Me Stories.

“The most important thing, however, is that the student is able to read for 20 minutes each day,” McKeehan emphasized.

Contact Andrea McKeehan, Knox County and Berea College family engagement specialist, at 606-528-5429 for information on upcoming events.