ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Summer break is typically a time for kids to kick back and take in some sun, as well as extra screen time. However, all that free time can lead to a “summer slide,” hurting students’ progress.

A recent student of children in third to fifth grade found students lost, on average, 20% of school year gains in reading and 27% in math over the summer break.

Roanoke City Public Schools has been working hard all summer to make sure students can handle the material when they return to the classroom on Aug. 23.

The superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools, Verletta White, says that part of that effort involves getting back to what she calls “authentic literacy,” which includes giving kids the opportunity to read, write, and discuss relevant material in every classroom every day.

“We want our kids to be immersed in those reading activities and writing across the curriculum because literacy is the foundation of every other content,” explained White.

According to White, the district has a new “E-3” learning program and additional staff development for teachers so they understand what the authentic experiences mean for students.

In order to get kids excited about learning, school officials are also making sure students are reading what interests them and engaging in relevant writing materials.