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Early Education

Tackling Summer Slide: Reaching Students Where They Are

Nationally, low-income students lose two months of reading proficiency in the summer. And every year, this “summer slide” loss adds up; research finds that two-thirds of the achievement gap among high school students is attributable to summer learning loss in elementary school. This 2-minute video (in English and in Spanish) demonstrates this long-term impact.

Last summer, in response to local data, Istation and the Tackle Tomorrow Foundation generously donated Istation licenses to five summer program providers in the South Oak Cliff area. Over 120 elementary grade students received individualized support through Istation’s online reading curriculum. At two of the sites, experienced reading specialists also delivered targeted, small group instruction to students.

The results: Across all five sites, 60% of students grew in their reading proficiency or stayed on grade level. At the two sites with additional teacher support, nearly 75% of students improved their reading proficiency or stayed on grade level.

For this upcoming summer, Dallas ISD (DISD) has partnered with Istation, the Tackle Tomorrow Foundation, the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, Dallas Afterschool and Commit! to expand this combination of supports to 10 sites serving 400-500 students entering grades K-3. Site selection is near completion and will be announced soon.

Leslie Haas, Director Kindergarten – 2nd Grade Curriculum and Instruction at DISD, is excited about the potential of this partnership: “Reaching our students wherever they’re at during the summer will be critical in reversing the summer learning loss trend locally and nationally. I’m excited about the results from our initial pilot and looking forward to developing this partnership to reach more kids.”

To learn more about this innovative partnership, please contact Jonathan Feinstein, Director of Community Engagement, at

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