It’s called the “summer slide” — the tendency for students, especially those from low-income families who struggle with reading, to lose over the long summer months some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year.

Students lose up to 30% of their school-year learning over the summer, studies have found. Additionally, black and Latino students tended to gain less over the school year and lose more over the summer compared to white students.

At BRIDGES, getting children to read regularly – and on grade level – is one of our key focus areas. We know that reading has to be a year-round activity for optimal academic development and eventual career success. Voracious readers are almost always the highest performing students in school.

But getting students to read during the summer months can be a challenge.

So this month, let’s look at strategies to help your little reader improve her reading during the summer and beyond:

Here are some tips, according to Scholastic and Florida Education Association:

Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing.

Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read.

Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle.

Explore your local library. Find out when it is open and how to get a library card. Many libraries even have free summer programs and offer online books.

Read to your child. Reading aloud benefits all students, especially those who need help improving their reading skills. Listening will help a child build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books.

No matter your child’s age, there are many creative ways to keep her mind sharp during the summer. Yes, summer is the time of year to unwind and enjoy the fun parts of being a kid — but be sure to find that right balance between relaxing and reading.

(Image: Istock)