Children who have greater access to print materials are more likely to have better attitudes toward reading, are motivated to read, tend to read more, have better language development, show strong emergent literacy skills, show stronger reading and writing skills, and demonstrate overall academic achievement.
— Allington and McGill-Franzen


Gaining Ground is a nonprofit developed to support students in high poverty schools through tutoring, enrichment and summer literacy programs.

Many students, the most vulnerable, who struggle to read effectively and communicate their ideas fall behind their peers. For these students summer means losing ground. They return to school having fallen farther behind and face a steeper and steeper uphill battle until the road forward seems impossible.  By the end of sixth grade, there is a three year achievement gap between students who are economically disadvantaged and students who are economically advantaged in schools.

Gaining Ground provides children with the support, encouragement, individualized instruction, guided practice, and access to high interest materials that will reverse this negative cycle.


Summer Reading Loss is Real

"In the summer following third grade, students lose nearly 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math."
Dr. Megan Kuhfeld, NWEA

What is "Summer Slide?" 

Children from economically disadvantaged homes can begin their school career with a large gap in their vocabulary and early reading experiences.  They begin with a six month deficit in learning.  As they progress through the years they grow at the same rate as other students but each summer they slide back due to the lack of access to books. This gap continues to grow over their elementary school career ending with a three year achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students.  There is abundant evidence that summer reading loss is one of the most important factors contributing to the reading achievement gap between rich and poor students.

"Summer Slide" is a term used for the slide back of reading skills for students who do not have access to books over the summer break.  Children of poverty show the largest slide back of skills due to their lack of access to books and summer learning experiences.  

Bridging the Literacy Gap


The Gaining Ground Book Bus Provides Access to Thousands of Books Throughout the Summer!

Gaining Ground's primary purpose is to provide students with access to high interest books and literacy supports throughout the summer months.   Gaining Ground has a layered approach of support to close the literacy gap.

  • BOOKS. BOOKS. BOOKS. Providing children with books to take home over the summer break has a positive impact on maintaining their reading skills. We provide the opportunity for students to choose 10 engaging books for their take home summer library.

  • MORE BOOKS. Students will have the opportunity to trade out their books each week to keep them engaged and excited to read all summer long.

  • READING. WRITING. TALKING Provide weekly opportunities for children to talk with teachers about their reading and ways to write a variety of responses about their reading.

  • INDIVIDUALIZED LITERACY INTERVENTIONS Children that are significantly behind grade level will have the opportunity for weekly reading interventions with a highly qualified teacher.

  • FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Providing encouragement and guidance to families and caregivers increases the impact on student growth. Families are provided with specific ways to support their children throughout the summer months.


Gaining Ground Gave Away over 10,000 Books in the Summer of 2018 to over 1,000 Students


Students who visited the Gaining Ground Book Bus 5 or more times maintained their reading levels or GREW as readers! NO MORE SUMMER SLIDE!


Gaining Ground is growing and will serve over 2,000 students in the summer of 2019 and give away over 20,000 books!


Gaining Ground is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization