Not in my backyard

The Summer Slide…not in our backyard!SAIL Logo 2

Do not be confused, the Summer Slide isn’t the newest, coolest piece of playground equipment.

The Summer Slide is the loss of academic skills and comprehension in reading and math during the summer break from school. Essentially, if you don’t use it you lose it.

Students can lose up to 2-3 months in reading and in math. For example, a 3rd grade student who is reading at a 3rd grade level could revert back to a 2nd grade reading level if she is not academically engaged during the summer months. Research used by the National Summer Learning Association shows that “summer learning loss accounts for two thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap in reading.”

More importantly, low-income students are more likely to experience summer learning loss than their high-income peers.

But, not in Birmingham’s backyard!

United Way is working collectively with our Birmingham community in the Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) Partnership to reduce and eliminate the Summer Slide. SAIL is a partnership of 10 funders, 30 nonprofit organizations, and enrichment providers that is working collectively to decrease the amount of students who experience the Summer Slide. SAIL’s focus is on providing quality summer programming that incorporates rigorous academic components in a camp-like setting. Components of the SAIL Partnership are low student to teacher ratio, experiential learning, family engagement, testing, and 120 hours of academic engagement.

SAIL just wrapped up its third successful summer showing a student gain in reading and math!

It has been a great summer and we are setting SAIL for summer 2015.

SAIL is now accepting applications for summer 2015. If you are interested please contact Caroline Harris at

How about you? Want to come SAIL with us?