GREAT FALLS - The "summer slide" is a term that refers to the amount of information students lose over summer vacation.
As students focus more on play and less on books, teachers say they begin losing the skills they just spent the past year learning.
“Kids that can be around books and be around reading tend to perform better in the classroom. Their social skills are better, reading skills are better. It really prevents that summer slide that we see when kids don’t have that opportunity,” said Dean Jerdee, who works as a librarian at Whittier Elementary.
The summer slide affects low-income and high-income students, showing that low income students, who go down the slide, can drop 9 points on literature scores over the summer.
To help with this problem, is the summer Read Six program. This program gives away 4,000 free books. This year, organizers hope to give away 5,000 books.
Kids are positive about the program.
“I’ve taken at once I think three books at most but they do it six times throughout the summer which is why it is called Summer Read Six so you can get a lot of books,” said Forest Allen, a sixth grader at Whittier Elementary.
Summer Read Six organizers recommend that kids read at least six books over the summer.
"You can bring like your kids so they can get books, and so, like, you can read it to them so that it will help their vocabulary and then they'll know how to read,” said J. D. Allen, a fifth grader at Whittier Elementary.