This research explores summer learning loss and the effect of summer resources on students’ literacy growth. Using the faucet theory, this mixed methods sequential explanatory study was designed to provide equitable resources and educational support for students in grades five through eight in a rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged school district. Transportation, breakfast, lunch, books, and a literacy-focused enrichment program were coordinated and provided for all participants in an effort to reduce learning loss during summer break. The pragmatic approach to inquiry incorporated both quantitative (e.g., literacy outputs, registration, and attendance data) and qualitative data (e.g., parent open-ended question responses). Convenience sampling was used to recruit 97 students for this study. Summer learning gains were reported for two grade levels and three grade levels maintained above benchmark status throughout the summer. Students (74%) believed that their reading skills had improved and parents (100%) wanted the program to continue in the future. Registrations increased by 746%, retention increased by 34%, and daily participation increased by 18%. This study did not attempt to measure all factors that affect students’ summer learning, but factors that could reasonably be provided by a school district. Recommendations for practice include the provision of school-year resources and the delivery of enrichment-focused instruction during the summer months. Additional research is recommended to study the summer learning loss of male and female adolescent learners. In addition, continued research and multi-year studies are suggested for summer learning programs for adolescent learners.
O'Connell, K. M.
Making Summer Learning Equitable for Students in a Rural, Title I School District: Turning on the Faucet of Resources.
The Interactive Journal of Global Leadership and Learning, 1(1).