Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


Summer learning loss, summer slide


This research explores the effect of the equitable provision of resources and a literacy-focused curriculum on summer learning loss for middle-school students. Using the faucet theory, this mixed methods sequential exploratory study was designed to provide school-year resources during the summer months, 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 provided for all students, and book choice and attendance prizes were used to increase student motivation. The pragmatic approach of the study incorporated both quantitative (e.g., literacy outputs, registration, attendance data, reading observations, and student questionnaires) and qualitative data (e.g., student focus groups and parents’ open-ended question responses). The 97 participants were acquired with convenience sampling. Two grade levels experienced summer learning gains and three grade levels maintained above benchmark status. Students (74%) also self-reported literacy growth. Registrations for summer learning increased by 746% and the average daily attendance increased by 18%. Students (73%) reported that prizes motivated attendance and 42% said that free meals were important. Students (79%) also reported an increase in summer reading and parents (94%) reported an increase in their child’s motivation to read. Future study of adolescent summer learning programs is recommended, as is the analysis of summer learning loss for male and female students. The study did not attempt to measure all factors that affect students’ summer learning but supports that could be reasonably implemented by a school district.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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