“Summer Slide” is the
tendency for students, especially those that are disadvantaged, to lose as much
as two to three months of reading skills during the summer break. Summer
learning loss during elementary school accounts for two-thirds of the Reading
Achievement Gap between at-risk students and their more advantaged peers by the
time the students reach ninth grade. (Source: Afterschool Alliance;
National Summer Learning Association). Some local school districts and their
partners are finding ways to prevent Summer Slide.
The Summer Advantage Program was established through
collaborative efforts of the Gallia-Vinton ESC, the Gallia County Department of
Jobs and Family Services, Gallia County Local Schools, and Gallipolis City
Schools. The purpose of Summer Advantage is to provide learning opportunities
that extend beyond the regular school year. The opportunities help the students
to enhance their current levels of knowledge and also help prevent a setback in
youngsters’ levels of skill in reading.
The Summer Advantage Program consisted of
twenty-one days of learning throughout the months of June and July. Students
that attended at least 18 of the 21 days received a “bonus” over and above the
academic support: each of the faithful attendees earned $200 to spend on school
clothes for the upcoming school year! Additionally, parent informational sessions
designed to increase personal skills to support students’ academics and general
well-being were provided. Parents that chose to participate earned an
additional $75 to add to the students’ totals for their new wardrobes.
2018 marked the second year of Summer Advantage. Data from Year
One indicated that 100% of the students maintained or increased their reading
achievement levels from spring to fall testing in the local schools. This is
phenomenal considering what happens if children spend a summer without reading!
The school districts are excited to see this year’s Summer Advantage results
that will be measured with testing in the early fall months.
Dr. Denise Shockley, Mr. David Moore, and Mrs. Gwen Daniels from
the Gallia-Vinton ESC were assisted with school district coordinators, Mr.
Jeremy Hout (Gallipolis City) and Mrs. Sandra Plantz (Gallia County Local
Schools), to implement Summer Advantage.
The ESC is proud to acknowledge that in September of 2017,
the Summer Advantage Program received an
award from the Ohio School Boards Association Southeast Region for “Outstanding New Program or Innovation”.