Reading is important to prevent ‘summer slide’

Published on Jun 14, 2023

Bloomington Public Schools encourages children and teens to read for fun this summer. Reading is important during this time away from school to prevent a drastic loss in reading skills, especially for students in need. 

“There’s roughly 12 weeks of summer. If students suddenly stop reading during that stretch of time they aren’t able to practice the skills they learned during the school year and may experience a summer slide,” said Beth Flottmeier, director of elementary curriculum and instruction. 

Summer slide is a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session.

“Skills that are learned need to be practiced to ensure ongoing proficiency in the skill. Reading over the summer will help students maintain and improve their skills, setting them up for success for the next school year,” said Flottmeier. “We want kids to enjoy reading and we want them to become lifelong readers,” Flottmeier added.

Educators recommend students read for at least 20 minutes every day, which equates to 1,200 minutes worth of stories read before the beginning of the next school year.

Flottmeier offered these other tips to beat the summer slide:

  • Explore different kinds of reading material like a favorite author or series, picture books and magazines.
  • Visit a local library or bookstore to find something that interests young readers.
  • Parents and caregivers read aloud with their children.
  • Review skills with fun, hands-on activities, including writing about the books read.

“Sometimes reading a good book will even inspire kids to write a story themselves,” said Flottmeier.