Ask educators in any part of the country and they will tell you there’s no debate: summers matter for children, youth, families, and education. That’s why the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) will lead the country in National Summer Learning Week (July 8 – 12, 2019), an awareness and advocacy celebration that aims to elevate the importance of high-quality summer programs in keeping children and youth safe, healthy, and learning every summer.
Recent research published by the RAND Corporation points to findings from a Wallace Foundation study — the largest-ever study of summer learning — which showed
“High-quality summer and afterschool programs can change the trajectory of a young person’s life. For our nation, the summer months present an opportunity to close educational and opportunity gaps that often begin at birth and to seize the summer months as a time for kids to catch up, keep up and grow strong for the school year ahead,” said Aaron Philip Dworkin, CEO of NSLA.
Each day of NSLA’s National Summer Learning Week focuses on a different critical summer issue, from literacy or the enriching possibilities of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to arts programming and summertime programs that introduce children to career possibilities.
Summer also is about ensuring our country’s most vulnerable youth have access to good nutrition. By dedicating one day specifically to nutrition and wellness, NSLA draws attention to the fact that the inequities of summer also extend to food security. According to the Food Research and Action Center, only one in seven youth eligible for summer meal programs receive them, which means many children go hungry when school is not in session.
National Summer Learning Week highlights:
- Hundreds of celebrations and summer activities with libraries, museums, summer camps
andschool district partners coast to coast.
- Launch of a summer public service campaign featuring 1,000 #KeepKidsLearning digital billboards by Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.
- iHeartMedia summer learning PSAs voiced by Dr. Steve Perry, a daytime TV host and “America’s educator.”
- A website (summerlearning.org) with summer resources like the Summer Stride Tip Sheet and Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge.
- Numerous meaningful participation opportunities in the week for parents, children, educators,
andprofessionals leading summer programs.
National Summer Learning Week offers parents, children, and program providers free summer learning tools and academic readiness checks, along with an opportunity to advocate for change and ask Congress to protect summer and afterschool program funding. For more information on National Summer Learning Week and opportunities to participate, visit www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week.