How one district made summer count with community partners!

Stephanie Agresti  //  Oct 26, 2017

How one district made summer count with community partners!

It’s always the right time of year to celebrate what works in supporting students. This week, Make Summer Count 2016, a program serving thousands of higher-needs elementary school students in Greenville County, South Carolina, has received the Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSCAward for Excellence in large part due to the research around the program displaying an overwhelmingly positive impact.

Make Summer Count displays how reading over the summer goes a long way in helping students avoid the summer slide, the summer loss of academic skills commonly experienced by students, and is considered responsible for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower- and higher-income children.

Facilitated by the nonprofit Public Education Partners (PEP), in partnership with Greenville County Schools (GCS) and Scholastic, the Make Summer Count 2016 summer reading initiative provided 18,000 students in grades K–5 across 29 higher-needs elementary schools in Greenville County with 11 books to take home for summer reading, and 23 Family Reading Night events were hosted to promote learning year-round.

The Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSCAward for Excellence is given to an innovative education initiative improving the lives of students in South Carolina. In April 2017, PEP and the Scholastic Research & Validation team published a research study on Make Summer Count 2016 which revealed that:

  • A majority of students avoided the summer loss in literacy skills
  • Students read more books over the summer than the national average and reported increased reading stamina and confidence
  • The program’s high value to participating families

To learn more about the award-winning program and the power of communities and schools coming together to support students and their families by providing the resources that they need, visit: