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Let's Tackle the Summer Slide! | LiteracyConnections

Rachel Roseberry

Rachel Roseberry is the Literacy Manager at ExpandED Schools.

This post is part of our LiteracyConnections blog series, where we explore the bridge between literacy and child development.

Initiatives like Start with a Book provide parents, caregivers, summer program staff and librarians lots of engaging ideas for getting kids hooked on reading, exploring and learning all summer long — and beyond. (Image: Start with a Book)

The summer slide is well documented. Our own Katie Browhan, Senior Director of Research, summarized this research in a post last August highlighting a study showing that students in low-income neighborhoods can lose two months of reading achievement over the course of a single summer. Luckily, we also know a wide range of strategies for keeping kids engaged in joyful literacy learning during the months off of school. Our LiteracyConnections blog series will share several of these strategies over the next several weeks.

Many organizations (and families!) build their summer learning around clubs or themes. One of the easiest strategies for infusing literacy is to pair texts with summer themes and clubs. A paired text is any type of text (picture book, poem, article, etc.) that connects with an existing theme or activity. Paired texts are often relatively short and can be shared at the opening of an activity to generate excitement about the topic, or at the end of the activity to help kids reflect on their learning. Share these texts through interactive read-alouds (for younger kids) or partner reading (for older kids). See below for some of our suggestions for paired texts! 

Early Elementary

Upper Elementary

Middle School


Finding the right paired text can take time, but sharing engaging stories and ideas with kids will enrich their summer experience and their literacy skills.

For help finding paired texts, check out Start with a Book or the New York Public Library’s themed booklists.



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