A Reading is Fundamental program that provided books to low-income children over the summer helped to stem—and, in some cases, even reverse—their expected “summer reading loss,” according to a new report.
Results of a two-year study of RIF’s Read for Success pilot, released this month, found that of the 33,000 students in grades 2-4 participating in the program, just 39 percent slipped. Another 4 percent held steady. And 57 percent significantly improved their reading skills between the end of one school year and the start of the next. Students who scored in the bottom 10th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills—a nationally norm-referenced assessment—showed the greatest improvements.
RIF launched Read for Success with a $9.3 million Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant enabled RIF to give out 760,000 books to all classrooms in grades 1 to 5 in 173 schools in 16 states. The books were selected for their emphasis on a range of academic subjects and paired with activity books. The intent was to build on the Common Core State Standards while boosting students’ vocabulary and reading ability.
A version of this article appeared in the May 20, 2015 edition of Education Week as Summer Learning