The Summer Learning initiative seeks to promote reading and to provide a series of incentives and programs that encourage active and engaged learning over the summer months. The eight-week program includes “pre-readers” (age 0-5) aiming to read 8 books over the course of the program, while young readers (ages 5-12), teens (age 12-17), and adults (ages 18 and older) complete a total of 8 hours of reading. In addition to reading programs, SJPL hosts a “Lunch at the Library” and other interactive programs at least once a week at each of the 25 Library branches.

The Need

Studies consistently show that summer learning, and in particular reading, can help prevent the “summer slide” effect — a loss of up to two months of academic progress. Summer learning loss accounts for 2/3 of the 9th grade achievement gap, and this loss is cumulative, deepening each summer. Students from low-income households are far more likely to experience a significant loss of learning while out of school, and with 8.4% of San José residents living at or below the poverty line and 37% of Santa Clara County’s 3rd graders currently reading below grade level, it’s clear that for these students, access to books and educational programming is key to learning retention. Summer Learning closes this gap by providing access for all students to high-quality programs.

The Impact