City of Akron Combats ‘Summer Slide’ with Free Reading Program

The City of Akron distributed the following press release on May 31, 2017.

City of Akron Combats ‘Summer Slide’ with Free Summer Reading Program in Akron Community Centers

AKRON, OHIO – The City of Akron is proud to announce that it will be partnering with the Akron Public Schools (APS) and Summit Education Initiative (SEI), to host its successful summer reading program again this year, starting June 12. The program will help Akron students, in kindergarten through second grade, practice their reading with support from a community volunteer.

“The summer slide, or learning loss, that affects all students during the summer months contributes to the achievement gap and can hold students back from realizing their full potential,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Our Summer Reading Program, which includes one-on-one sessions with volunteer tutors, helps stem the tide of reading loss and sends students back to school in the fall, ready to hit the ground running. There is no more important cause than ensuring that our young people have the tools they need to succeed.”

Summer Reading Program flyer“This program is critical. We’re grateful for the city’s help and SEI’s assistance in this project. They strengthen the resources needed so we may reach more students,” said APS Superintendent David W. James.

When reviewing why students in grades kindergarten through second grade were selected as the target group of participants, SEI Executive Director Derran Wimer explained that “the largest gains and the largest gaps in reading occur prior to the third grade year.”

Akron City Council President Marilyn Keith, a former school teacher, and Akron Councilman-at-Large Jeff Fusco supported the initiative in its first year, and are helping to recruit community volunteers. “We saw great results with the Summer Slide program last year, and we wanted to make the program even more successful in 2017,” President Keith remarked. “That’s why, this year, Council redistributed additional funds toward this important program.”

The 2017 Summer Slide Program will run from June 12 through August 11. Summer reading sessions will be held weekly at the Firestone Park, Kenmore, Lawton, Mason Park, Northwest and Patterson Park Community Centers. Parents are encouraged to contact the center near their home to enroll their children for free. The City will be providing incentives for participating kids. All volunteer tutors with be trained.

For Summer Slide program times and locations, community center contact information, and upcoming volunteer training sessions, please visit