Learning Resources

Summer Learning Maintained With Reading, Math Challenges

More than 1 million students, parents and educators in 20 states are collaborating in an effort to help children maintain their math and reading skills through the summer, according to the company providing the online platforms for the initiative.

The Council of Chief State School Officers has partnered for the last three years with MetaMetrics, the company that developed the Lexile Framework for Reading and Quantile Framework for Mathematics, measurement devices intended to link assessment with instruction, to offer the "Chief's Summer Learning Challenge."

For the past three years, MetaMetrics has offered the online "Find a Book" and "Summer Math Challenge" tools to all state departments of education, with 20 participating this year in the reading program and 18 in the math program.

"If we are going to seriously address the achievement gap and graduate all students, paying attention to summer is critical," said MetaMetrics President and Co-Founder Malbert Smith.

With "Find a Book," students, teachers and parents can build custom reading lists based on the student's reading level and favorite topics. After identifying the right text, students can use the platform to check on the availability of books at the local library. The "Find a Book" program has more than 215,000 works of fiction and nonfiction that can be made available to students.

With the "Summer Math Challenge," parents who enroll can receive daily e-mails with activities targeted at their children's skill levels and links to free educational resources.

Both programs are primarily for children who have completed the second through sixth grades.

"The Chief's Summer Learning Challenge has been a positive experience for our state," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. "With schools and public libraries working together to keep students' skills sharp over the summer months, our children are able to return to school better prepared to pick up learning where they left off."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.