How We Inspired Summit Kids to Read Over 600 Pages (Each) Last Summer - And Beat the Summer Brain Drain!

Teachers and parents alike know the dangers of the "Summer Brain Drain" - when students experience learning losses when they fail to engage in educational activities over the summer months. Research has shown that low-income students are even more likely to suffer from this effect, with an average of more than two months loss of grade level equivalency in both reading achievement and mathematical computation skills.

During the Summit Summer Olympics Program, students not only counter this effect by participating in 3 Academic classes each day in Math, Reading, and Character, and by participating in the Read-A-Thon Program and reading outside of Summit; Grade Level Equivalency tests show that Summit Kids are growing more than the national average growth rate in Math and Reading during the summer!

Last Summer's Results

  • In 2014, the 375 Summit Kids read 228,446 pages during the 7-week Summer Olympics Program. That's an average of 609 pages read by each student!

  • Over half of the students read over 500 pages and won a trip to Six Flags!

  • Grade Level Equivalency tests showed that Summit students grew an average of 0.54 grade levels in Reading and 0.72 grade level in Math during the summer. (The National Average growth rate is 0.5 grade levels each semester in school).

  • Countless Parents Say: "My kids used to not like to read. Now they love it, and I can't get them to put their books down!"


The Read-A-Thon

Throughout the Summit Summer Olympics Program, students are invited to participate in the Read-A-Thon, a reading program in which counselors track the number of pages that are read by the students on their team, both at Summit and during their free time at home. In addition to a daily 45 minute Reading class with their team, students are able to check out books from Summit's library of Read-A-Thon Books to read at home. After completing a book, students take a quiz with a counselor who is an expert on the book, and if they pass, the pages are tracked in a weekly reading log. At the end of the week, each counselor tabulates the total number of pages read by everyone on their team, both from class and from quizzed books. Teams compete with one another to read the most pages each week.

The Summit Read-A-Thon Library is filled with fun and interesting books that allow students to discover new worlds, experience different cultures, and learn about various peoples and places from the past and present. Students are also motivated to read by the incentives that Summit offers. Each student has a goal of reading at least 500 pages and winning a trip to Six Flags for the last field trip of the program. For every page that a student reads after 500, they receive a scholarship of 10¢ per page. Additionally, the top 10 readers win a fun day of boating, and the top 2 win a plane ride!


Why Read This Summer?

Why would almost 400 students exceed expectations year after year and each read (on average) over 600 pages during their summer break? The allure of television, smart phones, and other electronic devices, not to mention the finally beautiful weather, keep of many of us - adults and children alike - from choosing a good book over our Netflix accounts.

Not only are Summit students motivated to read with the incentives of Six Flags and scholarship money, but they also understand that by reading, they are gaining new knowledge and improving themselves. In a Character class, students learn about the importance of reading - how it is the foundation of learning, and becoming a good reader can help you in all areas of academics and prepare you for your future. With this understanding, Summit students are excited to broaden their horizons each summer with books.

Sponsor a Student Today!

Help Summit Kids Read 250,000 pages this Summer during the 2015 Read-A-Thon!

Visit our Sponsorship page to find out more about sponsoring a student and helping them reach their reading goal this summer. Thank you for your support!

Nicole Heger