Summer Matters Superhero Award recipients are leaders who put energy and resources into summer learning, not because they have to, but because they are convinced that EVERY child matters and EVERY child can succeed with the right support and foundation.
Do you know a Superintendent who has demonstrated extraordinary support for summer learning programs during the time between September 2016-September 2017? Can you help us find and celebrate this superhero? Summer Matters is looking for nominations for our Superhero award, given each year to California Superintendents who make summer learning matter in their districts.
Meeting Objectives to:
Celebrate the accomplishments of program
Generate solutions to common program challenges
Share programs best practices
Apply a strategic management model to turn data into action plans
Determine root causes of performance gaps and develop strategic responses
Participants have identified actions and ideas to improve their program in 2017
Summer Matters is excited to announce the programs participating in our 2017 Summer Matters Site Visits. This is a chance to showcase quality summer programs across the state. The site visits will include an introduction to the program and opportunities to see the staff and youth in action.
The research is clear that summer and after-school programs provide numerous benefits to students. According to a study by John Hopkins University, during the summer months children living in low-resource communities who are not engaged in activities tend to fall into a “summer slide,” while their peers from more economically advantaged communities build skills that will help them succeed. Students without positive summer activities lose nearly two months of competency in reading, and these losses are cumulative. By ninth grade, summer learning loss accounts for nearly two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading. Also well-documented are the negative impacts on health: youth without summer learning programs gain weight at a higher rate than during the school year. This is particularly true for children and youth of color and those who are already overweight.
Napa Valley is recognized the world over for its award-winning wines, but little is known about its low-income, mostly agricultural, communities where the need is great; especially for year-round student academic support and enrichment opportunities. To address this need, Aim High – a nonprofit offering free summer learning programs to middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than thirty years – opened a campus at Silverado Middle School in rural Napa, a community where only 15 percent of third grade English Language Learners read at or above grade level. The Napa program currently serves 120 students, but has a waiting list of at least 60 children.
What could happen when students are engaged with just-right, high-interest books over the summer months? At Orange County Public Schools (FL), a six-week summer reading academy increase average Lexile scores by 44%. In the summer of 2015, South Berwyn, Illinois, a district where 100% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch and 90% are English language learners, defied the odds and not only avoided summer slide but experienced a significant increase in reading proficiency.
On April 11th, the California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Division released the Intent to award funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC Elementary and Middle School) and 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) programs contingent upon the availability of federal funds, and subject to change based upon the grant appeal process.
How Summer Learning Strengthens Students’ Success is an independent evaluation of three Summer Matters pilot programs. The report measures impact on students’ academic achievement – both during the summer months and extending throughout the school year. Analysis of the data concluded high quality summer learning programs in Fresno, Los Angeles and Sacramento have bolstered students’ academic success by strengthening their academic skills in general and literacy skills in particular, and increasing the effectiveness of their work habits and confidence in their abilities as learners.
The California Afterschool Network produced five short webinars around the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California. These webinars are intended to give Program Directors, Site Coordinators, front line staff, and the field at large, a better understanding of the Quality Standards, Standards in Action and the Crosswalk, and how these items can be utilized in a process of Continuous Quality Improvement.