"A federal study has found no learning gains from a summer reading program that provided books to students, but little else.As far as I can tell, and contrary to what parents and schools universally believe, "reading a lot" doesn't work particularly well. To get better at something, you have to engage in deliberate practice, and deliberate practice is pretty much the opposite of reading for pleasure. More-reading-less-Facebook isn't the answer to our nation's reading problems.
The report, by the Institute of Education Sciences, explores whether fall reading-comprehension scores could be improved through a summer reading initiative for economically disadvantaged children with below-average reading skills. The randomized, controlled study involved 1,571 students in 112 schools during the summer between 3rd and 4th grades. Students received eight books appropriate to their reading levels and their interests.
Unlike some other summer reading efforts, though, this one offered no interventions beyond six postcard reminders throughout the summer. The aim was to learn if the program could close reading gaps without additional strain on parent and teacher resources."
Summer Reading By Hannah Rose Sacks
Btw, I had no idea that more-reading-less-Facebook wasn't the answer to our nation's reading problems until I read Tom Fischgrund's book on students who scored perfect 1600s on their SATs.
I think there's another problem with independent reading as well, but that is for another day.