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Mother and daughter reading outside under a backyard tent

Summer Reading

Summer is a great time to encourage kids to read and actively explore the world. Books can be the perfect springboard to building background knowledge and a love of reading.

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The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. The following resources and articles provide information about summer reading and summer learning loss. Plus you’ll discover great activities to encourage kids to learn, read, and have fun in the summer sun. 

Featured resources

Parent resources

  • Summer Learning, Side-by-Side
    Children are full of questions about the world around them, and summer is a perfect time to tap into your child’s interests. Here are some ways to start a journey of discovery together. (In English and Spanish)
  • Summer Literacy Challenge!
    For most parents, it’s a challenge to keep kids reading and writing all summer. Suddenly 10 weeks of summer can feel like a very long time! We’ve got 10 ideas to help make this summer full of fun, creativity and learning. (In English and Spanish)
  • Take a Break, but Bring a Book!
    Reading over the summer not only keeps your child from losing ground, but actually improves skills for the coming year. Here are some suggestions to keep a book in your child’s hands over the summer months. (In English and Spanish)
  • Use Summer Fun to Build Background Knowledge
    Interesting experiences give kids a broader framework for new information they might encounter in books, and when kids have lots of experiences to draw on, they have a better chance of making a connection with what they read! Help your child build background knowledge this summer with these activities. (In English and Spanish)
  • Day Trips for Book Lovers
    Not everyone lives near Chincoteague lsland off the Maryland and Virginia coastline (Misty of Chincoteague) or has a chance to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder house museum in the Ozarks (Little House on the Prairie). But books can inspire some exciting day trips.
  • Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia
    Here are a dozen simple strategies to help your children keep the academic skills they learned during the school year. Support them as they read. Give them material that is motivating — and some of it should be easy. Help them enjoy books and feel pleasure — not pressure — from reading. The summer should be a relaxed time where their love of learning can flower.
  • Finding a Great Summer Program: A Checklist for Parents
    Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates, better preparation for college, and positive effects on children’s self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. High-quality summer programs keep students engaged in learning, teach them new skills, allow them to develop previously unseen talents, and foster creativity and innovation.

Resources for teachers and librarians

  • Get Ready for Summer! Ideas for Teachers to Share with Families
    Reading Rockets has packed a “virtual beach bag” of activities for teachers to help families get ready for summer and to launch students to fun, enriching summertime experiences. Educators will find materials to download and distribute as well as ideas and resources to offer to students and parents to help ensure summer learning gain rather than loss.
  • Summer Reading Loss
    Do you spend most of the fall reviewing what was taught last spring? Help prevent summer reading loss by finding out why it happens and encouraging family literacy while kids are at home for the summer.
  • Lost Summers: Few Books and Few Opportunities to Read
    Many kids lose ground during the summer months, especially those from low income families. Part of the problem is that many students don’t have easy access to books. This article presents some suggestions for what schools can do.
  • Making a Splash With Summer Reading
    If you’re a children’s librarian who wants to promote an upcoming summer reading program at your public library, start by targeting the local schools. After all, that’s where the children are.
  • Collaborative Summer Library Program (opens in a new window)
    CSLP is a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens, and adults at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries. Public libraries in participating states or systems can purchase posters, reading logs, bookmarks, certificates and a variety of reading incentives. Materials are developed around an annual theme.

Browse our summer reading resource library

Learn more about how to keep children reading and learning during the summer. You’ll also find articles, research and additional information about summer learning loss. Visit our Summer Reading section