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United Way of the Midlands (UWM) invests in programs that promote the value of learning and reading year-round. This is especially important over the summer to help prevent “summer slide” – a loss in literacy skills that children often experience during the summer recess.

When the school year ends, children in high-poverty environments struggle, not only with basic needs like healthy food and safe places to spend their days, but also with losing precious time during the summer months to continue their learning. Summer learning loss, or “summer slide,” can occur because children may not have access to out-of-school learning programs, age-appropriate books at home or transportation to a library. The cumulative effect can leave low-income students two-and-a-half to three years behind their peers.