Each month we highlight an important topic in the field of afterschool/out-of-school time and this month we are focusing on the importance of summer learning. Summer is a critical time in a young person’s learning trajectory. It is an opportunity for young people to explore their passions, apply the skills and knowledge they learned during the school year, and build lasting relationships with peers and adults… not to mention keeping them safe, healthy and engaged to prevent summer learning loss. However, many of these opportunities come at a high price that many families cannot afford, significantly increasing the achievement gap. It is this barrier to access that has led many communities to provide high quality affordable summer programs for their young people. Go to NLC’s APAN LinkedIn Page to find helpful resources on summer learning and to share with other city leaders how you are addressing summer learning within your community.
On January 14, 2014, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced a national expansion of its work to increase access to healthier foods at affordable prices, working with 14 food companies and group purchasing organizations to expand their school agreements already in place with the Alliance to the out-of-school time environment. Out-of-school time providers are encouraged to visit www.HealthierGeneration.org to learn more about how they can take advantage the free tools and resources to improve access to healthier foods, increase physical activity opportunities and engage in positive youth development.
Originally an anti-crime strategy, DC's One City Summer Initiative (OCSI) has evolved over the past three years into a major collaborative effort. Now with the strong support of Mayor Vincent Gray and three city Deputy Mayors, 27 partnering government agencies are coordinating and collaborating to:
Please read more about OCSI 2013's programming, participation data and outcomes in the One City Summer Initiative 2013 Full Report as well as a detailed report describing the DC Children Youth Investment Trust process to create the initiative and the robust partnerships.
Research shows that during the summer, low-income suffer disproportionate learning loss and this loss accumulates over time. This report offers guidance to school district leaders interested in launching or improving summer learning programs. The recommendations – start planning in January and stick to a firm enrollment deadline, among others – are based on evaluations of summer programs in six urban districts selected for a multi-year demonstration project funded by The Wallace Foundation.
As soon as one summer ends, it's time to start planning for the next one! The new Summer Starts in September: Comprehensive Planning Guide for Summer Learning Programs developed by the National Summer Learning Association includes 200 pages of research-based strategies, program examples, and tools that summer program staff, leaders, and trainers can use to develop an intentional, high-impact program. Quantities are limited. You can also purchase the Summer Starts in September Planning guide with its three online companion guides.
If you want out-of-school time programming that is high quality and you need to know how to budget for it, this Wallace Foundation resource can help. The online calculator lets you determine the costs of a variety of options for high-quality out-of-school time programs. Though designed to determine afterschool program costs, it may help you plan your summer learning programs. Like a student loan or mortgage calculator, this calculator lets you know what questions to ask, gives you an easy-to-understand analysis of the data you enter and offers ideas and resources to further your work.
The 2014 New York Life Excellence Award application is now available. The New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between kindergarten and twelfth grade. The $10,000 award is given annually to three winning programs from sponsor, New York Life Foundation.