This article originally appeared in CNN Opinion.  Jennifer Davis is the co-founder and president of the National Center on Time and Learning, a nonprofit that promotes expanding learning time to improve student achievement and a founding signatory of the Time to Succeed Coalition. 

(CNN) — In America, summer holds a special place in our hearts: lazy afternoons, camping at the lake, warm evenings gazing at the moon. For children, especially, summer can unleash the free flow of discovery. For older children, summer often brings their first job.

But this idyllic picture masks the reality that for too many children, particularly those from low-income families, languid summers can be educationally detrimental, and for families in which both parents work, summers are a logistical nightmare.

Considerable research shows that the primary reason the achievement gap between poor children and their more affluent peers widens over the course of their school careers is the long break in learning over the summer. It’s called summer slide.

During the school year, disadvantaged children manage to catch up somewhat to more advantaged students. Read the entire article…