It only takes one summer without classes and homework for kids to fall behind in their coursework. Now with the help of a donation from a local oil and gas company, Educate Midland and Midland ISD are hoping to prevent the so-called “Summer Slide” for more than 900 Midland students.

“Summer slide is real,” said Educate Midland Program Director Mike Mills. “If our kids take a break completely it may take them up to half a semester just to get back on track to where they were when summer ended.”

Why does it matter? Mills said without summer learning, your child will fall behind.

“If we can have more students coming back to school on track, it gives teachers the opportunity to take them down the education highway faster,” Mills said. “They will be able to continue what they did in the classroom while tracking their progress online.

A generous donation from XTO Energy will help. The oil and gas company is donating 49 laptops for students to use in summer programs. Many of these students do not have access to learning technology at home.

“The message is that we are interested in children’s success,” said XTO Energy Public and Government Affairs Manager Jerrod Jones. “Coming alongside educators and students is a priority for XTO’s community investment.”

The laptops will be equipped with the same reading and general curriculum software that allows teachers and students to track their progress in school. It means kids will be able to prevent “Summer Slide” in a meaningful way.

“The scholastic success of these kids can be improved by just giving them the tools during the summertime to not let their academics slide behind,” Jones said. “It feels good to be able to give back in the community of Midland.”

Six summer programs will receive laptops for students through the initiative–including the Midland YMCA, Midland Fair Havens, Casa de Amigos, Greater Ideal Church and Kaleidoscope Ministries.

The partnership between Midland ISD, Educate Midland and a local oil company continues to show what can be done when community partners share a common goal.

“Preventing Summer Slide doesn’t require hours, just 40-45 minutes of learning can make all the difference in the world,” Mills said. “Everyone is working together which is unprecedented, never been done before. We have an oil and gas company that understands the importance of providing this bridge of technology for kids.”