Data from end-of-year assessments, although inconclusive because populations differ, indicate that Ames students gain in reading proficiency during the school year and fall back in the summer. This is not surprising, given that many scholars have documented the phenomenon of summer learning loss. For example, one study on summer learning loss (Alexander and Olson. 2007) showed about two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap between low and high income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during elementary school years. Another study (Cooper. 1996) found that low income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
Raising Readers in Story County partner with other organizations, the schools and the United Way of Story County in both Ames and Nevada to address the 'Summer Slide'.
Little Cyclone Summer Enrichment is offered for Ames students identified by the school district as being at-risk for summer slide and participate in all day tutoring and enrichment at the Ames Middle School. This program runs June through mid-July.
Little Cubs Summer Enrichment is offered for Nevada students participating in their summer tutoring and enrichment programs at Central Elementary School. This program runs mid June through the end of July.
Both programs are free for students and include STEM activities, breakfast and lunch, and other activities focused on having students maintain or increase their education levels over the summer.