The 2006-2011 REL Southwest at Edvance conducted a large-scale, multidistrict randomized control trial to examine the effectiveness of a summer reading initiative for economically disadvantaged grade 3 students who scored below the 50th percentile nationally in reading. The program was designed to reduce summer reading loss, a well-documented decline in reading skills that occurs when students are not in school over the summer.
Students in the summer reading program received eight books in the summer before their grade 4 school year. Students and books were matched using the Lexile Framework® for Reading, and students were sent follow-up postcards during the summer to encourage reading. At the start of the next school year, students were tested to determine if the program had an impact on their reading levels.
Key findings include: