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Summer Reading

Ron Fairchild and Loriene Roy — nationally recognized experts on reading and summer learning — address how to make the most out of the summer months. Taking advantage of high-quality programs and accessing community resources can turn potential summer loss into summer gain.

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Program description

Research shows children lose one to three months of learning during the summer, and that loss can be compounded every year. For millions of low income kids, that delay impacts their likelihood of attending college or even earning a high school diploma.

Join Ron Fairchild, director of the National Summer Learning Association and Dr. Loriene Roy, president of the American Library Association as they discuss how to make the most of summer learning.


Ron Fairchild, M.Ed. is executive director of the National Summer Learning Association and a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Under Mr. Fairchild’s leadership since 2002, the Center has grown from a local program serving the children of Baltimore city, to become the only national organization focused exclusively on creating opportunities for high-quality summer learning for all young people.

Loriene Roy, Ph.D. is president of the American Library Association (ALA). She also serves on the Advisory boards/committees for El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros, the International Children’s Digital Library, the Sequoyah Research Center, and Her work is centered on developing and promoting library services and cultural heritage initiatives with and for indigenous populations. She founded and directs “If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything,” a national reading club for Native children and “Honoring Generations,” an IMLS-funded graduate scholarship program for indigenous students. She has written extensively on these and other efforts.

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Discussion questions

  1. What does summer “look like” for the students with which you work?
  2. What are some ways your school community could raise awareness about the issue of summer learning and summer loss?
  3. Summarize within your group or small learning community the contribution of summer loss to the overall achievement gap present in schools?
  4. What types of summer programs are available in your community? Describe free or low-cost options as well as camps that might have scholarship opportunities for students?
  5. What would an effective reading incentive program look like in your area? Would you encourage students to track the amount of time they read? The number of pages they read? Would you use external reinforcers to motivate students, and if so, what would you use?
  6. Describe any steps your school or community takes to communicate and build relationships between the school and the public library system?
  7. What types of resources are available in your library learners who speak very little English? Does your library have a collection of books written in other languages? How can you best share these resources with the families in your building?