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Bridging the Gap aims to help Valdosta children with summer reading loss

Students in Valdosta face summer reading skill loss, but programs like Bridging the Gap help maintain education levels with refresher courses.
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jul 02, 2024
  • Area students can lose up to two months of reading skills each summer, adding up over their school years.
  • Bridging the Gap helps maintain reading, writing, and math levels with summer classes until July 18th.
  • Watch the video to hear from area students about how the program is helping them.


Studies shows area students can lose up to two months of reading skills each summer, a setback that adds up over their school years.

"One thing I notice is that people are improving, especially me, as we're learning and stuff."

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta, and I'm speaking with local students and educators about summer learning programs like Bridging the Gap.

Bridging the Gap is dedicated to maintaining student reading, writing, and mathematic levels year round.

"I think my favorite moment is when I see the light turn on... that a-ha moment."

Amy Young is a teacher at Valdosta High who is helping with the summer program.

She tells me even though she works with younger students, she's able to incorporate the curriculum she teaches high schoolers, as it's the building block for their future education.

"Today we're working on prefixes, and a big part of high school biology is prefixes. Teaching the kids how to break down those words and understand the word parts is something we start out with in Honor's Bio, so definitely see it."

I checked with the American Educator journal.

Over 50% of the reading achievement gap is due to lack of access to summer programs.

Just a few weeks of refresher courses can help students maintain lessons from the previous year, as seen with incoming middle school students like Angelica Hundley.

"It's like a new beginning to me, and Im growing more."

As well as fellow middle schooler Brandon Davis.

"When we go back to school, I don't know what they're going to end up teaching us. So if the end up doing stuff like this, I'll be able to do it."

Bridging the Gap will be held on Monday-Thursdays from 9:30 p.m.- 1:15 p.m. at The Southside Church of Christ until July 18th. In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, reporting for ABC27.