2015 Summer Reading Challenge and Free Reading Resources

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kid reads in a hammock

School’s out for summer! Classrooms and school buses have gone to sleep, while backyards and swimming pools have to come to life. Here are a couple more places that need to thrive this summer: our libraries and our kids’ brains.

Students who don’t read over the summer lose up to three months of reading ability. But that doesn’t have to happen. In fact, children who do read during the summer may actually show some growth in their reading ability.

To ensure that Georgia’s students don’t fall behind while school’s out, the Georgia Department of Education, the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and other partners have issued a challenge to every student across the state: Read every day this summer, for 15 to 30 minutes. Here are some free resources to make that easier:

  • Find a Book Georgia generates a personalized reading list tailored to a student’s interests and reading level.

“Escaping to other worlds through books is a fun, positive way to spend the summer hours, and it keeps students on track academically at the same time,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “I hope all of Georgia’s students will fall in love with reading this summer, and I encourage students and parents to take advantage of these excellent, free resources to help achieve that goal.”

Here are some summer reading goals for students based on grade level:

  • K-2 students: 10 books
  • 3-5 students: 8 chapter books
  • 6-12 students: 5 fiction books and 5 non-fiction books

Research shows that reading loss occurs for most children when they are not in a formal learning environment or engaged in any form of educational activities. But that loss is preventable—Harvard University Professor Dr. James S. Kim, for example, has demonstrated that when students read a minimum of eight high-interest, ability-appropriate books over the summer, their reading skills grow as much as students who attend summer school.

Learn more about summer reading loss at the Lexile Summer Reading webpage and the National Summer Learning Association webpage.

For more information, contact Matt Cardoza of GaDOE Communications at mcardoza@gadoe.org.