The authors designed and implemented a voluntary reading program that was intended to reduce loss in reading achievement over the summer months, particularly for low-income and ethnic minority children. The program had two major components:
providing eight books that were well matched to each child's reading level and interests
end-of-year lessons and activities for teachers and parents to provide support or scaffolding for children's summer reading
Teacher and parent scaffolding consisted of comprehension strategies instruction and oral reading practice. The results of two experiments demonstrated that the program had positive and educationally meaningful effects on reading achievement. These effects were largest for black and Hispanic children, ranging from 1.7 to 5.1 months of additional learning. Simply giving children books without any form of scaffolding did not have positive effects.