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April 25, 2023

Summer Slide? Not if we can help it!

Summer learning loss, sometimes called “summer slide” is the tendency for students to lose some of the skills they gained during the previous school year. 

Summer slide acutely impacts students in families affected by inequities and opportunity gaps, like many of the 550 students we partner with at Colorado’s Title I schools. Some students may have less access to books and structured learning opportunities over summer which makes it harder for kids to practice reading.

So what’s the solution?

Check out these basic facts. The Colorado Department of Education notes (source):

  • Students from low-income households with access to books over the summer see significantly more gains in reading scores from spring to fall than students from high-income households with access to books and those from low-income households without access to books.
  • Differences in children’s summer learning experiences during their elementary school years can ultimately impact whether they earn a high school diploma and continue to college.

At Reading Partners, we believe our students’ reading growth should not end when school is out, “after the bell.” 

In fact, our students should still be supported over the summer months. That way they can return to school, not behind, but on track to continue at grade level and beyond.

To prevent summer slide, Reading Partners Colorado, with the help of the community, provides each of our brilliant readers a summer reading backpack at no cost to student families through our After the Bell campaign.

Summer backpacks include:

  • 6 books perfect for each student’s reading level.
  • Resource literacy packet with a list of local district libraries and summer literacy events.
  • Student reading journal with engagement activities for readers and their caregivers, provided in Spanish where needed.

This year Reading Partners Colorado will be handing out about 550 backpacks to all our enrolled students! 

And you can help.

Visit our After the Bell fundraiser to ensure every Reading Partners student gets a free backpack. 

  • $50 provides 2 students with a summer backpack
  • $100 funds literacy support packets for 4 students’ families

Summer slide? Not if we can help it!

Your contribution is the solution. Donate before May 7 for the greatest impact.

Questions about After the Bell? Email

More ways you can support your scholar(s) to keep reading over the summer months!

  • You can check out your local library for books and other reading programs they may host over the summer months.
  • If the cost of books is a barrier, Denver-area friends can grab free books at BookGive’s Free Book Room or access low-cost books at thrift stores.
  • To help your child get more excited about reading, modeling to your child how you have been excited about the own reading you are doing may also show your child just how exciting reading can be for every different age. 
  • Also, keeping a reading journal is a great way for your child to keep accountable and engaged with what they’re reading and how much they are reading throughout the week. Depending on how advanced your child is in reading, you may consider asking specific comprehension questions such as main idea, summary, or key details associated with each chapter.
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