During the school year students from diverse backgrounds sit side-by-side in the same classrooms. While they start the school year at different academic levels, theoretically, they receive the same classroom attention to learn at similar rates.
The summer, however, is a different ball game. Families with means are able to
visit the library, pay for camps, and create other enriching experiences. These activities reinforce learning from the previous school year, and prepare students for the fall. This contrasts with students from low-income families, who often cannot afford the time or economic resources required to provide similar summer time experiences.
What happens - or doesn't happen - during the summer months can have a huge impact on student growth. For instance, some articles report that students can lose up to 2.6 months of grade level math skills over the summer. If students are already testing behind their classmates, losses such as these are significant.
To prevent Summer Learning Loss, you can help by supporting a student in your community with reading, writing and math. Here are a few opportunities still available to you as a volunteer this summer at the Seattle Public Library.
Contributed by Caitlin Reddy, Youth Tutoring Program