Summer Learning Challenge Keeps Young Minds Active

June 22, 2015

 Charleston, W.Va. -- When the school doors close, the lazy days of summer begin for most schoolchildren across West Virginia. Some call it the brain drain, summer slide or the summer slump. Whatever the name, the summer learning loss that occurs among children every summer is a setback for kids. It can result in a loss of knowledge and reading ability.

To ensure that West Virginia’s students don’t fall behind while school is out of session, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) wants your help in encouraging children statewide to keep their academic skills sharp during the summer break through the Summer Learning Reading and Math Challenge.

Students need to have strong reading and math skills in order to be successful at school and, later, in the workplace,” said state Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “Learning activities over the course of the summer are a vital component to increasing student achievement throughout the year.”

Research shows that students who read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to be successful later in life. Students who fail to meet this milestone falter in the later grades. The WVDE and West Virginia Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading are challenging students to read every day this summer, for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Suggested summer reading goals for students based on grade levels are:

  • K-2 students: 10 books
  • 3-5 students: 8 chapter books
  • 6-12 students: 5 fiction books and 5 non-fiction books.

Students can sign up at  for a chance to win a one year free site license to one of the following reading improvement programs: Achieve3000 (one elementary and one middle school), Scholastic Reading Counts! and Capstone Digital's myON. The four schools with the highest percentage rate of the school's student body/population that "pledge to read" will be the recipients of the awards.

A national study in 1996 found that children lose about two months of learning in math computation skills over a summer. As part of the Summer Math Challenge, resources to engage students in math skill-building activities are provided. The program’s goal is to help kids retain math skills they learned during the previous school year.

Reading and math resources are available on the WVDE Summer Learning Challenge website


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