Jeffrey Mosher welcomed Edythe Copeland, CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works! into the MBN studio to discuss 'The Summer Slide'.
The summer slide is the regression of education and skills developed in a traditional academic school year during the summer months. To put it simply, when students aren’t in school, they “slide” backwards academically.
To hear Edythe and Jeffrey discussing The Summer Slide, press play on the PodCast shared below.
(Here's some more of what they cover) Why does the summer slide matter?
Each fall, a substantial amount of time and money goes into reteaching students
material they learned in their previous academic year. For many students, it’s more than just a
refresher, and for many teachers it consumes weeks if not months of the school year just
catching students up to where they left off.
Does the summer slide impact all students equally?
No. The summer slide is more common in children who come from economically
disadvantaged families, and the gap for those families is growing larger.
• The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is about 30
to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five
years earlier, according to research conducted by Stanford University. (Article: New York
• Low-income children may lose up to three months of what they learned in the previous
year in just one summer, compared to middle-income children who may lose up to a
month, according to the National Summer Learning Association.
What can parents do to help combat the summer slide?
There are a lot of free things parents can do. At home, parents can:
• Read with and to their children or encourage independent reading. It can be chapter
books, picture books and even magazines, just so long as it’s something!
• Listen to audio books or kid’s podcasts (yes, they exist) when in the car or simply for fun.
• Practice or learn a new hobby or skill together.
• Take advantage of online learning resources like coolmath.com and mathblaster.com.
• Manage time that children spend using technology for non-educational purposes and
steer them toward more educational activities.
What can businesses do to help combat the summer slide?
Engage students in your workplace! Here are a few simple ideas:
• Connect with the Career and Technical Education programs in your county to discuss
work-based learning opportunities for summer or throughout the school year.
• Host a “Bring Your Child to Work Day” or summer working program for your employees’
children to encourage them to explore careers during the summer.
• Contact your local school district and offer to host teachers, counselors and
administrators at your place of business to give them a chance to explore hands-on
• Encourage your employees to volunteer with organizations that work educationally with
students in the summer such as ITEC, Impression 5 Science Center and REACH Studio Art
• According to the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institution, studies indicate
the effects of summer learning programs endure for at least two years after
participation. Get involved in your local library’s program, or reach out to the Capital
Area District Libraries or Capital Area Literacy Coalition about donating or volunteering.
Why is Capital Area Michigan Works! focused on the summer slide?
Workforce development starts at birth, and we need every single student in our region to be as prepared as possible to fill the jobs of the future. We can’t always know what those jobs will be, but we can know that they’ll require students to pursue some form of post-secondary education and that students need to learn to learn year-round, while they’re in school and long after. Our educational partners in the region work tirelessly and it’s our role and responsibility to support them as much as we can to ensure tomorrow’s employees are getting prepared today.