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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

CONTACT: Jeanne Johnson
Center for Summer Learning

Back-to-school interview availability with Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning at The Johns Hopkins University, about what teachers face as classes are set to resume.

Baltimore As school is about to start across the country, many teachers will spend the next four to six weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer, says Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning at The Johns Hopkins University.

During summer, students fall an average of almost 2.6 months behind in math skills, according to the Center for Summer Learning. For low-income children, the slide in reading is particularly harmful: They fall behind an average of two months in reading while their middle-income peers tend to make slight gains. By fifth grade, low-income children can be as much as 2.5 years behind in reading.

High-quality summer learning programs, however, can keep children from falling behind. Consider:

  • In Baltimore, students who participated in Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) this summer gained an average of four months of reading and math skills during BELL's six-week program at 12 low-performing elementary schools. About 85 percent of students reached proficient or advanced levels in reading. On average, they moved from the 29th to 40th percentile in reading.

  • In New York City, 82 percent of the students who completed Harlem RBI's summer program showed no learning loss in reading at the end of the summer. In fact, nearly half made up to six months of reading gains by summer's end.

  • In Washington, DC, fifth-graders entered Higher Achievement, an after-school and summer program, with 2.3 grade point averages. After rigorous academics and experiential learning, particularly in the summer, this year's eighth-grade graduates boasted an average 3.8 GPA.

  • "These students will start the school year better prepared and will be more likely to stay on track academically," says Fairchild. "Summer learning programs help to develop the types of innovative and creative thinking skills needed in the global economy."

    The mission of the Center for Summer Learning is to create high quality summer learning opportunities for all young people. The Center is committed to expanding summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth as a strategy for closing the achievement gap. Based at The Johns Hopkins University, the Center works to improve program availability and quality, build public support and influence public policy and funding. For more information, visit www.summerlearning.org .

    Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/
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