The loss of learning during the summer months is well documented by researchers. Known as “summer slide”, students in grades 3 through 5 have been shown to lose approximately 20% of their school year literacy gains during a summer.1 Abilities such as decoding, letter knowledge, and word reading skills are particularly prone to summer melt. Studies have also shown that students from low-income backgrounds are most at risk, especially those in grades K through 3.
Because summer learning loss compounds over time, the impact for low-income students is a long-term negative effect on their academic outcomes. With this knowledge in mind, Stamford Cradle to Career (SC2C) worked with local Stamford nonprofits as well as Stamford Public Schools (SPS) to roll out a summer literacy initiative aimed at reducing the impact of summer slide. This design for this project began in the fall of 2019, before schools were forced to close in March of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The program did launch in the summer of 2020 with adjustments to the original program design to accommodate the virtual environment.