Summer break is often seen as an idyllic time for teachers, parents and students to take vacations, have fun, and forget about the stress of school.
But for the growing number of students living in poverty, summer vacations can be a significant setback to their learning, researchers say.
“Summer learning loss is a significant contributor to the achievement gap,” says Nancy Levesque, executive director of the National Summer Learning Association. “Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading achievement while their higher-income peers make slight gains."
According to NSLA, these losses accrue each year, and by fifth grade, cumulative years of summer learning loss in reading and math skills can leave low-income students 2.5 to three years behind their peers. Further, disadvantaged students may also deal with food insecurities and safety issues when they are out of school. ...