Arlington Public Schools Summer Reading Program
Research over the past few decades has found that there are substantial performance gaps between low- and high-income students at the beginning of each school year, even when such gaps did not exist at the end of the prior school year.
Several interventions have attempted to address the “summer slide” in student achievement by providing books to students over the summer break, but to date few have capitalized on modern technology to communicate educational and motivational messaging during the summer months. As part of the Nudge4/Arlington Public Schools partnership, we developed a set of two-week message cycles that included motivational videos from teachers in our partner schools, instructional videos from school reading specialists, and reminder messages to encourage students to engage in meaningful reading.
During the summer of 2016, we piloted messaging with students and their families. Student and family feedback on the initial wave of messaging will help inform a scaled-up randomized control trial within the districts evaluating the effectiveness of the program during the summer of 2017.