The Summer Reading Difference

May 31, 2018

The Summer Reading Difference

Research shows that when children and their families have the resources they need to read throughout the summer, fewer students experience a loss of skills while school is out. This week, we're talking with two experts about ways they work to keep books in the hands of their students all summer long, and the incredible results they've seen as a result of their focus on summer reading. 

First, we talk with Jennifer Boren, a library media specialist in Collierville, Tennessee. Jennifer talks about her experience with the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, the importance of representation in children's books, and some of the accomplishments of her summer readers. We also hear from a few of Jennifer's students about why they love to read!

Later, we talk with Ansel Sanders, president and CEO of Public Education Partners in Greenville, South Carolina. In 2016 and 2017, PEP collaborated with Scholastic to measure the impact of their award-winning Make Summer Count initiative to eliminate summer reading loss. The results were incredibly positive: 78% of participating students maintained or increased their reading level from spring to fall.

Additional resources:


  • Jennifer Boren is the Library Media Specialist at Bailey Station Elementary and has worked in public education for sixteen years. She is Apple Teacher certified and serves her school district as the Lead Library Media Specialist and Vanguard Coach for Collierville Schools. In addition to reading avidly, traveling, and spending time with her family, she works as a freelance writer for Memphis Parent Magazine and blogs at
  • Ansel Sanders is President and CEO of Public Education Partners (PEP), an education fund that incubates innovative pracitces and positions the community to advocate for excellent public education in Greenville, South Carolina. 

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
  • Produced by Emily Morrow


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