Summer Reading Program with Benefits for At-Risk Children: Results from a Freedom School Program

Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, D. Bruce Taylor, Adriana L. Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-income and racial/ethnic minority children are at increased risk of experiencing summer reading loss or declined reading levels due to time away from school. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 6-week summer reading program would help children maintain or improve reading levels. Four-hundred-fourteen African American and Hispanic children ranging from Kindergarten to 8th grade were assessed before (Time 1) and one-week prior to the end of the program (Time 2) to evaluate changes in Independent and Frustration reading levels. Outcome scores (Independent and Frustration) significantly improved from Time 1 to Time 2, t (415) = 11.62, p <.001 and t (415) = 14.99, p <.001, respectively. Time had a significant effect on both Independent and Frustration score differences (F (1, 415) = 135.09, p <.001 and F (1, 415) = 224.60, p <.001, respectively). A significant time by child level interaction in Independent difference scores was also observed F (1, 410) = 8.21, p <.01, with children in higher levels showing more improvement. There was also a significant time by grade repeat interaction in Frustration difference scores, F (1, 390) = 7.60, p <.01; children with a history of grade repetition showed significant improvement compared to those who had not. Results suggest that this brief summer reading program helped children improve over time, with improvement most notable in children in higher grade levels and those most vulnerable (i.e., grade repetition).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-224
Number of pages14
JournalReading and Writing Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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