(1) Young African American Scholars Make Reading Gains at Literacy-Focused, Culturally Relevant Summer Camp that Combats Summer Reading Loss

Michael P. Mesa
Florida State University

Alysia Roehrig
Florida State University

Chelsea Funari
Florida State University

Shawna Durtschi
Florida State University

Cheyeon Ha
Florida State University

Erik Rawls
Florida State University

Cheron Davis
Florida A&M University

Abstract

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that students, particularly those from economically disadvantaged households, experience summer reading loss. Available evidence suggests this is due to a lack of participation in literacy-focused activities and access to books during the summer break from school. The current study investigated whether participation in Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools, a free, six-week, literacy-focused, culturally relevant summer camp, may help prevent summer reading loss. The sample consisted of 125 students who participated in three sites of the summer camp and completed pre- and post-test reading assessments. The results of this study suggest that the literacy-focused summer camp provides students with an academically enriching opportunity that may help prevent summer reading loss, particularly for students in Grades 3–5, who experienced small gains on average in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Recommendations are provided regarding how the program can be modified to maximize potential benefits related to participation.

Citation

Mesa, M.P., Roehrig, A., Funari, C., Durtschi, S., Ha, C., Rawls, E., & Davis, C. (2021).  Gains at Literacy-Focused, Culturally Relevant Summer Camp that Combats Summer Reading Loss. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 252-267.Download: 19Mesa.591.pdf (59 downloads)