According to a new survey performed by Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy's, 61% of parents surveyed do not believe that their child loses reading skills over the summer.
The same survey found that 90% of parents agree with findings that say children lose some of the skills gained over the school year during the summer months due to "brain drain," the majority simply do not believe it to be true of their own children.
"Students who lose reading ability over the summer rarely catch up. Existing research shows that 75 percent of students who read poorly in third grade, a bench mark year for literacy skill building, remain poor readers in high school. The key to helping children maintain or improve their literacy skills over the summer is providing access to quality books they can choose based on personal interests," the press release said.
In addition, 45% of participating parents reported believing that all children have access to books throughout the summer months. However, it has been found that over 75% of children who live in poverty do not actually have access to books in their homes or anywhere else, reports Nicole Gorman for Education World.
"The unfortunate reality is that many children do not have access to books, especially at home; this is something we take for granted," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO, Reading Is Fundamental. "Thanks to our continued partnership with Macy's, we are getting more books into the hands of children who need them most, giving them the opportunity to not only build their literacy skills, but also the opportunity to experience the magic and power that books provide."
Recent research suggests that children who fall behind academically in the summer months are rarely able to catch up to their classmates and that 75% of students who read poorly in the third grade continue to be poor readers throughout high school. Offering books to children over the summer months is found to be the key to supporting and improving literacy skills while school is not in session.
Participants included 525 parents of 5-11 year olds who are currently in school. The study took place over a two-year period, which took a closer look at the summer slide and learning opportunities available throughout the summer in the hopes of highlighting the importance of summer reading to parents.
The results were made public during the launch of the 12th annual Be Book Smart campaign to support children's literacy. During the event, which began on June 21, customers across the country are welcome to give $3 at any Macy's register to be put toward the purchase of books for children in need. Customers who do so will receive $10 off a $30 purchase, in addition to 15-20% in savings throughout the store. The campaign runs through July 12.