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.
Summer Learning Loss
The Summer Matters Road Trip was huge this year! We traveled to programs in 15 different cities, spreading the word about the importance of summer learning. But don’t take our word for it, check out the media coverage of several of the stops on the road trip.
Studies show the detrimental effects of summer learning loss. According to the National Summer Learning Association, some children experience one to three months of reading loss during the summer, a phenomenon that affects mainly low-income students without access to academic materials when not in school.
Summertime doesn’t always mean kids lounging around the house playing video games once school gets out. Several hundred students, in fact, began their summer vacation by exercising their bodies and brains at two free elementary and middle school camps, thanks to the Napa County Office of Education.
The Summer Pre-K camp, located in several schools in East and West Oakland, runs for four weeks and provides free breakfast and lunch as well as parent-and teacher workshops, home visits and dental screenings. It is financially supported by the non-profit organizations First 5 Alameda County and Oakland Fund for Children and Youth.
The program is part of a renewed effort across California to ensure that children without preschool experience are not at risk of falling behind, as the academic requirements for kindergarten increase. Early education advocates say early learning is critical to success in later grades and that research indicates noticeable gaps in skills often occur before a child enters kindergarten.
Kids are returning to school this month, and according to the National Summer Learning Association, about nine out of 10 teachers will spend as much as three weeks on review because of summer learning loss. That’s something school districts and libraries continually try to fight with academic programs.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an overview of the potential impact summer learning programs have on California’s schoolchildren. Summer programming has become more achievable for districts due to the flexibility provided by the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
School’s out, but that doesn’t mean your kids should stop learning. Researchers have found that kids can lose one to two months of reading and math skills over the summer.
“All young people experience loss of math and reading skills when they do not have opportunities to apply or build these skills,” said Nazaneen Khalilnaji-Otto, the Campaign Director for Summer Matters. “Over 100 years of research has shown that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.”
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.