Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

John Reynolds

Abstract

Academic achievement loss during the summer is an established fact that is backed by a dearth of research. Most students generally lose academic ground in math during the summer. However, summer learning loss in reading is not shared by all subgroups of students. Students living in poverty lose, on average, 3 months of academic learning while other students gain or stay the same over the summer months. This is of major concern to schools and districts as they struggle to close the achievement gap.

A middle school in a southeastern state created a reading program that guaranteed access to books over the summer. Selected students were given 12 books at the end of the school year for 2 years. Two of the books came from the school's summer reading list, but the others were based on student choice. The program coordinators provided minimal support to the students when they choose their books. There were no other student support structures in place.

The purpose of this program evaluation was to determine the extent to which access to books is associated with reducing summer learning loss in reading and to determine to what extent participation in the program increased reading motivation and student perception of the value of reading.

While the findings of the program evaluation did not support the author's anticipated outcomes, this research offers plenty to the existing research on interventions geared towards reducing or eliminating summer learning loss in reading. While there is a solid research base that proves summer learning loss occurs and is an issue facing our schools, there is little research on interventions that may address the issue of summer learning loss in reading. This program evaluation builds off of the existing literature and shows the need for additional student support structures in addition to providing guaranteed access to books.