Booklists | June 22, 2023

Watch, Listen, Read: Great Resources to Take Action against the Learning Crisis this Summer


Rebecca Chandler Leege's summer 2023 recommendations

Summer is a time of wonder, full of adventure and discovery. No matter our age, we all like to take advantage of its longer days and slower pace to do what we enjoy the most. For me, that’s spending time outside with my loved ones, cycling, and learning new things.

So I want to share three fantastic resources that will help you learn more about one of the greatest challenges of our time – the learning crisis. Today, 64% of children globally cannot read and understand a simple story, meaning that they’re unable to reach their potential. Understanding how we got here and how to move forward together is the best way to give our young generations a chance to thrive.

These stories come from the US, a country where 4th-grade reading scores reveal only 35% of students show reading proficiency (NAEP 2022.) Yet they reflect the reality of a global crisis that is affecting children everywhere, putting our shared future at risk.

You can learn anytime, anywhere – on the beach, in the backyard, or on the sofa. Whatever your summer plans are, I hope these resources will help you make it a time of discovery.

Watch: The Right to Read

I’m excited to invite you, your family and friends, to our Worldreader theater! Join me and Worldreader on July 25 to watch The Right to Read, a powerful documentary about “the greatest civil rights issue of our time”: reading.

Oakland-based NAACP activist Kareem Weaver believes literacy is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time and is advocating for better reading instruction. “What good is winning the right to vote if we can’t even read the ballot?” Follow Kareem, one teacher, and two American families as they fight for our youngest generation’s right to read.

Register by July 18, 2023

Join Worldreader for a virtual screening of the documentary The Right to rEad

Listen: Sold a Story

“Corinne Adams watches her son’s lessons during Zoom school and discovers a dismaying truth: He can’t read.” 

The thrilling, extensively-researched Sold a Story podcast investigates how a debunked theory informed reading instruction strategies across US classrooms for decades. The podcast was so influential that several policymakers said it motivated them to advocate for better, science-based teaching methods.

Inspired to take action? The APM Reports website includes a discussion guide, created by a teacher, that invites educators, parents, children, and communities to have a conversation about the podcast.

Listen here

Watch the trailer

Read: 7 Days till Ice Cream

If we want to reverse the learning crisis, we must get children reading. The best way to start? Make time this summer to read with a child in your life. Our free reading experience app BookSmart will help you do that at the touch of a finger.

I love this story by Bernardo Feliciano because it’s an engaging learn-beyond-the-page experience. The book includes play-based, social-emotional learning and reading comprehension activities that will keep your child engaged and help them fall in love with reading. 

Also, who doesn’t love a summer story about ice cream?

Start reading on BookSmart

This summer, let’s get families reading!

For too many families around the world, school holidays are a battle against the year’s greatest learning loss – the ‘summer slide.’ We know that children can lose up to two months’ worth of reading during school holidays, and that income-based learning gaps often grow faster during the summer. But we also know that students who keep reading during school breaks can prevent the summer slide altogether. They just need the right reading tools and opportunities. 

This summer, consider giving families in the US and around the world the resources they need to support their children’s reading. Make a donation today.


Rebecca Chandler Leege is the CEO of Worldreader. Learn more about Rebecca.