Make Summer Count

Public Education Partners’ Make Summer Count (MSC) program, in partnership with Greenville County Schools, Scholastic, and numerous community volunteers and businesses, measurably stops the vicious cycle of summer reading loss by supporting students and families attending 29 Greenville County elementary schools. On average, students lose three months of reading skills every summer, and this repeated loss has a detrimental impact on future academic success, particularly on children from low-income families. MSC consists of two targeted, research-based opportunities for literacy engagement and volunteering- Book Celebrations to Build Home Libraries and Family Reading Nights.

Book Celebrations

Book Celebrations are designed to celebrate book access before the summer begins by building home libraries for students. Each spring, more than 18,300 students (grades 4K-5) at PEP’s 29 partner elementary schools self-select ten free, high-interest, age-appropriate books for their summer reading pleasure.

Each MSC school plans creative ways to celebrate the arrival of the new books with their students. PEP joins one of these schools each year to host the Make Summer Count Kick-Off, launching the MSC season, and engaging the community in celebrating this game-changing summer reading program.

We believe that book ownership plays an important role in the life of a reader, so children are encouraged to make their own book choices, take them home and make them their own. The result is an increase in reading motivation and skill throughout the summer months and beyond.

Family Reading Nights

Throughout June and July, PEP hosts Family Reading Nights (FRN) at each of the 29 MSC partner schools in Greenville County. FRNs are designed to promote family reading engagement throughout the summer and to continue to build children’s home libraries by offering a free book fair. Families are invited to experience an interactive read-aloud led by a community volunteer that models research-based strategies for reading engagement. Families then have the opportunity to pair up with their children to practice the reading strategies shared.

Successful FRNs require a team approach to highlight the importance of summer reading. Research shows that parents who are aware of the summer slide employ more strategies to encourage summer reading. With the help of community volunteers, these nights are opportunities to help spread the word about summer reading loss and to offer books as strategies to help mitigate this loss over the summer.

 

 

Book Celebrations

Book Celebrations are designed to celebrate book access before the summer begins by building home libraries for students. Each spring, more than 18,300 students (grades 4K-5) at PEP’s 29 partner elementary schools self-select ten free, high-interest, age-appropriate books for their summer reading pleasure.

Each MSC school plans creative ways to celebrate the arrival of the new books with their students. PEP joins one of these schools each year to host the Make Summer Count Kick-Off, launching the MSC season, and engaging the community in celebrating this game-changing summer reading program.

We believe that book ownership plays an important role in the life of a reader, so children are encouraged to make their own book choices, take them home and make them their own. The result is an increase in reading motivation and skill throughout the summer months and beyond.

Family Reading Nights

Throughout June and July, PEP hosts Family Reading Nights (FRN) at each of the 29 MSC partner schools in Greenville County. FRNs are designed to promote family reading engagement throughout the summer and to continue to build children’s home libraries by offering a free book fair. Families are invited to experience an interactive read-aloud led by a community volunteer that models research-based strategies for reading engagement. Families then have the opportunity to pair up with their children to practice the reading strategies shared.

Successful FRNs require a team approach to highlight the importance of summer reading. Research shows that parents who are aware of the summer slide employ more strategies to encourage summer reading. With the help of community volunteers, these nights are opportunities to help spread the word about summer reading loss and to offer books as strategies to help mitigate this loss over the summer.

FRNs are highlighted during National Summer Learning Week each July, a celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year.

Research Study

Public Education Partners has measured Make Summer Count’s impact towards its goal of helping eliminate the summer slide in Greenville. In partnership with Scholastic, two years of research and evaluation reveal that Make Summer Count has a positive impact on the reading levels of students participating in the program, and a positive shift in family literacy behaviors at home. Specifically, 78% of students in grades 3-5 maintained or increased their reading level from spring to fall 2016. Because of such positive results, PEP won the 2017 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence from the Riley Institute and has presented at numerous literacy conferences across the United States.

https://riley.furman.edu/education/whatworkssc/whatworkssc-award/dick-and-tunky-riley-whatworkssc-award-2017

Resources

“What we know is that children who do not read in the summer lose two to three months of reading development while kids who do read tend to gain a month of reading proficiency. This creates a three to four month gap every year. Every two or three years the kids who don’t read in the summer fall a year behind the kids who do.”

– Richard Allington

Allington, Richard L., Anne McGill-Franzen, et. al. Addressing Summer Reading Setback Among Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students.” Reading Psychology, 2010