Kansas City area students participating in 2013 summer reading programs showed reading gains, reversing the expected trend of summer reading loss for low-income children.
Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, Executive Director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium, presented the results of the extensive 2013 summer data sharing project at the January LINC Commission meeting.
The results involved several school districts, public libraries and youth-serving organizations sharing data on reading assessment in the spring and fall of 2013 along with student reading activities during the 2013 summer.
This is an ambitious cooperative data project involving multiple institutions and extensive support and analysis by academic researchers.
The community summer reading efforts and data sharing projects are receiving national attention. Kansas City's efforts recently were recognized nationally with a 2013 pacesetter award by the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading.
LINC's involvement in the 2013 summer reading efforts included distributing 10,000 high-quality books to elementary children in the Kansas City Public Schools just prior to summer. The effort was supported by the Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City mayor's office.
In 2014, LINC hopes to substantially expand the book distribution and strengthen its own reading efforts at summer camps it will offer. Planning is already underway.
The challenges of summer learning loss are well documented but often not fully appreciated by communities:
Turn the Page KC is a new non-profit that focuses on three key areas: early education, chronic absenteeism and summer reading.
The board recently selected Mike English to be its first executive director.