New research suggests that summer reading chosen by children improves scores and helps prevent the “summer slide” in learning.
When kids chose books at the end of the spring term to take home, they had better reading scores the next fall when compared to children who took home books they had not chosen.
“We’re starting to get the message out there that reading is a key determinant of health,” said Dr. Erin Kelly, the study’s lead author from the University of Rochester in New York. “This is more than a problem for the school system that kids aren’t doing well. It’s a problem for all of us,” she said.
According to Sheridan Blau, a distinguished senior lecturer and English Education Program Coordinator at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, some schools are adopting free choice in reading.
When students select from books appropriate for their reading level, “of course free choice is going to be better,” said Blau.
“They’re going to find something they’re interested in instead of being assigned work,” he added.