Summer reading and Lexile measures were made for each other. Check out the different ways that Lexile measures are helping to promote and stimulate summer reading around the country.

 

MetaMetrics' President Dr. Malbert Smith discusses summer slide on OPEN/net

Studies have confirmed what teachers and many parents know: when the end of a school year comes, summer brings a slide in student achievement. On the June 7th edition of OPEN/net, Dr. June Atkinson, State Superintendent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; Dr. Malbert Smith, III, President and Co-Founder of MetaMetrics, and Bud Lavery, Executive Director of Communities in Schools of Durham, one of the partners of Project READS, talk about how summer reading efforts pay off when the children return to the classroom. OPEN/net is a live, statewide TV call-in program that connects NC residents with the services and issues of government.

"Find a Book" Featured on Florida's Teacher Talk

The Florida Department of Education will once again partner with MetaMetrics to provide students with a tool to help them keep reading throughout the summer. On the April 12th episode of Teacher Talk, a monthly TV show designed to communicate with Florida teachers about innovative approaches to education, MetaMetrics’ President Dr. Malbert Smith appeared with Laurie Lee, from their Just Read, Florida! office to discuss our free “Find a Book” tool and how it assists in combating summer slide by providing children with books that match their skill level and their interests. (Interview starts around 10 minute mark)

"Find a Book" Fuels North Carolina's "READ NC" Literacy Campaign

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Building on the success of last year's summer reading initiative, N.C. State Superintendent June Atkinson launched the education department's "READ NC" literacy campaign. This statewide effort encourages teachers, librarians and parents to help children use Lexile measures and "Find a Book" to select challenging and engaging books to read over summer break and throughout the year. In support of the "READ NC" campaign, the education department has posted a new Web page that includes a North Carolina version of the Lexile map, a link to "Find a Book" and other free resources to support childrens' reading success in the classroom and at home.

Florida's Department of Education and Department of State Promote the Commissioner's Summer Reading Adventure

This summer, Florida's Department of Education and Department of State has partnered with MetaMetrics to provide students with a tool to help broaden their imaginations, stay engaged and learn throughout the summer. The Commissioner's Summer Reading Adventure promotes "Find a Book" to allow students to create Lexile-based reading lists that match their interests and reading abilities, and to help them find the books at their local public libraries. The "Find a Book" search, along with the Florida Library Youth Program in public libraries, supports the retention and growth of students' reading skills over summer break. Additionally, the Florida Library Youth Program encourages children, young adults and families to use their local public library for both educational and recreational purposes. They have designed summer activities to engage readers through music, movement, visual arts and more. Since its establishment in 2001, the percent of Florida public school students who are reading on grade level has increased by 14 percent.

Illinois Promotes Summer Reading and "Find a Book"

The Illinois Department of Education's "Summer Reading 2010" initiative comprises seven simple steps to summertime reading: identify the child's Lexile measure; visit "Find a Book;" search for books based on the child's Lexile measure or grade level; select the child's interests from a list of categories; view/refine search results; print the child's custom reading list; and follow the prompts to buy the books online or reserve them at the local public library. Additionally, the education department is encouraging school administrators, librarians and parents to promote summer reading with letters and an informational flier posted online.

Oklahoma Launching "Find a Book"

Malbert Smith on Oklahoma TV

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is planning to launch a summer reading program with Lexile measures to provide opportunities for all students to become good readers. On her monthly TV show, Results 2010: Oklahoma's Education Report Card aired in May 2010, State Superintendent Sandy Garrett spoke with MetaMetrics' President Malbert Smith and Shelly Hickman, director of public affairs for the state education department, about the campaign and why summer reading is important. In addition to the TV show, the Oklahoma Department of Education has provided resources on its website to help educators and parents use Lexile measures to support summer reading.

Houston Independent School District Rewards Students Who Read

This summer, HISD marks the third year of its successful Millionaire Club. The program uses free resources, including the Houston Public Library, Lexile measures and "Find a Book," to help students select books that best match their reading level and interests. At the end of the school year, students receive Lexile-based summer reading lists, commitment forms and log sheets. By returning their log sheets in the fall, students have a chance to win an HP mini netbook, board games, books, crafts kits, coupons to restaurants, and more. HISD and the Houston Public Library encourage parents to use Lexile measures to find books that match their child's interests and ability level by sending home fliers that highlight the importance of summer reading and the "Find a Book" search. HISD students receive a Lexile measure on either their Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) or Stanford-10/Aprenda test reports.

North Carolina Encourages All Children to "Find-a-Book"

In 2009, MetaMetrics collaborated with the North Carolina Governor's Office on the statewide "Find-a-Book" summer reading initiative, which focused on using Lexile measures and MetaMetrics' free book search of the same name to mitigate summer loss. The initiative encouraged all North Carolina communities to help children retain and grow their reading skills over the summer by making sure they had access to good books. Like many school districts and public libraries around the country, North Carolina already had the tools for connecting children with ability-appropriate books. Students in grades 3-8 and high school receive a Lexile measure on their report cards. School districts and public libraries across the state did their part to promote the value of Lexile-based summer reading programs—with some remarkable results.

Durham READS

Durham READS is a summer reading program started by MetaMetrics in 2008 with our local chapter of Communities in Schools. Readers with below-grade Lexile measures from the state end-of-grade reading test are mailed eight free Lexile-targeted books that they get to individually choose—every participant gets a custom set of books! We test students again in the fall and, as you might expect, the more books participants read, the more they grow their reading ability. Students who read seven books grew over 80L over eight weeks of summer. Rising fourth and fifth graders usually grow anywhere from 110L to 140L in an entire calendar year, so this is dramatic growth for a young reader out of the school environment. As importantly, the expected summer loss was mitigated for those participants who reported that they didn't read as many of the books.

Durham Community Partnership for Reading

MetaMetrics has partnered with Durham (N.C.) Public Schools and Durham County Library on the multi-year "Durham Community Partnership for Reading." Our common goal is to reduce summer reading loss for Durham students. The partnership uses the library's annual summer reading program as a springboard to help children and parents select reading materials based on Lexile measures. And, as Library Youth Services Manager Karlene Fyffe notes, "Not only did the kids come in with their Lexile measures, but their parents would come in with them and ask for books in their Lexile range. Our librarians could help them find the books they needed." Read our complete case study of the first year, and check out the Durham Public School's Bright Ideas video segment for more details on how the district uses Lexile measures to promote summer reading.

REL Southwest/Edvance Lexile Summer Reading Intervention

MetaMetrics is participating in a summer reading intervention study led by Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (REL-Southwest)/Edvance Research, Inc. This randomized, controlled trial is designed to answer the question: "How does a summer reading intervention based on Lexile measures impact summer learning loss?" The intervention children receive is similar to the one used by Dr. James Kim: eight books that are matched to the child's individual reading level and interests will be mailed to each participant in the treatment group during the summer after the third grade. Reading achievement scores will be collected using the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and in fall using the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI).