Reading & Literacy

Summer Program Aims to Prevent Rural Student Learning Loss

By Jackie Mader — August 03, 2016 1 min read

A program run by New York’s State University College at Geneseo is reporting success at preventing summer learning loss among rural students, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

The five-week long program enrolls students who attend mostly poor and rural districts in New York’s Genesee Valley and focuses on “inquiry-based learning,” where students complete projects based on their interests. These students often lack access to summer programs due in part to a lack of providers and transportation, which can lead to declines in academic achievement. In some mostly rural states like Mississippi, poor school districts have offered extended school years in lieu of summer school, or relied on programs like Teach For America to run summer school programs.

Some research shows effective summer programs can mitigate learning loss and may lead to months of growth in academic skills. But not all programs need to only focus on academic remediation. A recent group of case studies from summer programs in California found low-income students benefited from summer programs that featured activities tailored to students’ interests.

So far, about two-third of students who have participated in the State University College at Geneseo program for at least three years have shown no summer learning loss and nearly two-thirds of those students showed reading level improvement.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.