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Resource roundup: Summer learning

Resource Roundup: Summer Learning

By Joni Wackwitz
June 22, 2018

Grab a cold drink, find a comfortable spot in the sun, and browse our roundup of high-quality resources on summer learning, including research reports, videos, and webinars from across the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) network.

Summer reading programs

  • Does a Summer Reading Program Based on Lexiles Affect Reading Comprehension? (March 2012). This REL Southwest randomized controlled trial examined the effectiveness of a summer reading program designed to reduce reading loss among economically disadvantaged grade 3 students who scored below the 50th percentile nationally in reading. Findings were mixed.
  • Evidence-Supported Interventions Associated with Black Students’ Education Outcomes: Findings From a Systematic Review of Research (February 2018). This REL Midwest systematic review identified implementation of a summer reading program with free books as one of 22 evidence-based interventions that may improve academic outcomes for Black students.
  • Public Library and Student Achievement (January 2018). This Ask A REL response from REL Midwest outlines the available research on the relationship between student public library card ownership and student achievement, particularly in literacy.
  • Summer Reading Camp Self-Study Guide (February 2015). This REL Southeast guide is designed to facilitate planning and implementation of state-required summer reading camp programs for grade 3 students who scored at the lowest level on the state reading assessment.

Summer mathematics programs

  • The Effects of the Elevate Math Summer Program on Math Achievement and Algebra Readiness (July 2015). This REL West randomized controlled trial found that the Elevate Math summer program significantly improved mathematics achievement and algebra readiness among grade 8 students in California’s Silicon Valley, but that most targeted students still needed additional support to ensure success in algebra.

Family engagement in summer learning

  • Parent Involvement and Extended Learning Activities in School Improvement Plans in the Midwest Region (April 2011). A REL Midwest analysis of school improvement plans in five states found that more than 90 percent of plans included at least one "potentially effective" parent involvement activity and 70 percent included at least one extended learning activity (before- school, afterschool, or summer program).
  • A Teacher’s Guide to Supporting Family Involvement in K-3 Literacy (Work in Progress). REL Southeast is developing The Teacher’ s Guide to Supporting Family Involvement in K-3 Literacy, a suite of resources that teachers can use with families to encourage and facilitate literacy support for children at home. The guide will be available in 2020.

Summer transition from high school graduation to college

  • Leveraging Postsecondary Data to Increase College Access (September 2017). This REL Northeast and Islands webinar features a short-cycle randomized controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of a low-cost text message-based program designed to reduce "summer melt," the phenomenon in which high school graduates accepted to college lose the desire to enroll.
  • Summer Advantage: Counseling Within a Collaborative Model for College Readiness (April 2015). This REL West webinar features the Summer Advantage Program, a summer enrichment and orientation program designed to help high school students transitioning to community college create education plans and enroll in English and mathematics courses at their ability level.

Year-round schooling

  • Balanced Calendar (2017). This Ask A REL response from REL Midwest outlines the research on the relationship between using a balanced calendar in large districts and student outcomes. Schools that follow balanced calendars provide instruction year-round without extended breaks, such as summer vacation.

Ideas for summer professional development

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Author Information

Joni Wackwitz Staff Picture

Joni Wackwitz

Senior Communications Specialist | REL Midwest


Beating the odds (2)

Charter Schools (2)

College and Career Readiness (42)

Data Use (32)

Discipline (4)

Early Childhood (31)

Educator Effectiveness (36)

English Learners (10)

Literacy (11)

Math (1)

Online Courses (7)

Research Tools (2)

Rural (14)

Teacher Preparation (24)

Teacher Recruitment (2)

Teacher Retention (2)

Teacher Workforce (14)

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