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The Tackle Summer Slide Program Helps Students in Dallas Stop Summer Learning Loss

DALLAS, September 29, 2016 (Marketwired) — Today the Commit! Partnership, a nonprofit organization that works to increase student achievement in Dallas County, announced the conclusion of a summer program known as Tackle Summer Slide. Tackle Summer Slide is a collaborative effort to reverse summer reading loss by providing children access to online curriculum, instruction from trained reading specialists, and learning incentives. Nationally, low-income students experience, on average, more than two months' loss in reading achievement every summer.

Istation, a computer-adaptive e-learning program, contributed to the program by finding summer learning sites that were willing and able to serve as host partners. In return, Istation provided the host partners with access to Istation reading licenses, Istation training for the sites' staff, a reading specialist two times per week to help with tutoring students, and incentives, including tablet computers, to reward student attendance and achievement.

Rebecca Fernandez, a reading specialist who participated in the program this summer as a tutor, said, “Some of the biggest successes we're seeing [are] students getting excited about the progress they made from the first month to the second. The looks on their faces and them telling me they were 'tackling the summer slide' was indescribable.”

The host partners included were: Circle of Support, Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club, Roseland Boys & Girls Club, Cummings Rec Center, Nash-Davis Rec Center, Samuell Grand Rec Center, Frazier Revitalization Inc., Heart House, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Readers 2 Leaders, Trinity River Mission, and Catholic Charities Santa Clara Community Center. Twenty reading specialists provided additional literacy support, and approximately 50 parents attended at least one literacy workshop offered by Tackle Summer Slide.

At a closing ceremony organized at one of the host sites, a parent whose child participated in Tackle Summer Slide said, “When he goes to school after summer, he will be one step ahead of his peers.” She said she saw academic growth in her young child this summer as he came home and read books unprompted. She heard excitement in his voice as he talked about what he had learned on Istation.

Tackle Summer Slide's organizing partners included Commit!, Istation, Dallas Independent School District, City of Dallas Park and Recreation, Tackle Tomorrow, Dallas Afterschool, and Big Thought.

As a result of these efforts:

  • 475 students ranging from kindergarten to third grade received services.
  • Students were able to spend an average of 68.5 minutes/week on Istation Reading.
  • 64 percent of students attending the program showed no summer learning losses
  • 57 percent either stayed on grade level or showed significant growth according to ISIP™ data performance (Istation's Indicators of Progress based on IRT studies)
  • Results of Istation's reports showed that students who spent more time using the reading program were able to stay in Tier 1 (on track to meet grade level goals) or increased their ISIP overall score by five percentile points.

For more information contact Jonathan Feinstein, Commit! Director of Community Engagement, at To learn more please visit:

About The Commit! Partnership: "The Commit! Partnership is an nonprofit of 190+ partners that helps drive student achievement throughout Dallas County from cradle to career by leveraging data, community expertise and collaboration to measure what matters, identify effective practices, and spread what works. The Partnership works together to ensure all students in Dallas County have the opportunity to realize their full potential beyond high school, in college, and/or the global workforce."

About Istation: Istation is an award-winning comprehensive e-learning program used by more than four million students across the world. Known for its accurate assessments, engaging curriculum and trusted teacher tools, Istation helps students in prekindergarten through 12th grade achieve academic growth.

About Dallas Independent School District: Dallas ISD is considered to be one of the fastest improving urban school districts in the country. It sits in the heart of a large, diverse and dynamic region with a metropolitan population of 6.5 million people in the 12 counties in North Central Texas. The district is the second-largest public school district in the state and the 14th-largest district in the nation.

About City of Dallas Park and Recreation: The Dallas Park and Recreation Department is one of the largest municipal park systems in the nation and provides an array of leisure services.

About Tackle Tomorrow: Co-founders Charles Haley and Bob Bowie strive to place computers/tablets, trained instructors and Istation's program into after-school programs. While sports are a great outlet for children, both co-founders believe the real key is education.

About Dallas Afterschool: The mission of Dallas Afterschool is to improve the quality of after-school and summer programs in our community.

About Big thought: For 25 years, Big Thought has provided creative learning programs that help kids imagine possibilities, excel academically and contribute to their communities.