By the time a low-income child enters fifth grade, he or she can be up to three grade levels behind other classmates in reading and math. One key contributor to this gap is the absence of learning opportunities during summer months, which results in learning loss.
On August 25, 2016, The Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Science hosted a panel on summertime opportunities in Washington DC. The workshop validated the value of a summer learning approach not only for student academic achievement, but also for students’ health outcomes. A report outlining the workshop was just published.
Summer can be a costly time for low-income families. According to Jennifer Peck, Executive Director of the Partnership for Children and Youth, “While middle-income children retain knowledge or, in many cases, make gains over the summer, low-income children fall behind.” Summer learning programs are a cost effective way to prevent summer learning loss and close the opportunity gap. In order to better understand the cost of such investments, Summer Matters conducted a small survey of partner organizations offering high quality summer learning opportunities in California.
This guide is intended to better acquaint school board members and superintendents with summer learning, and to help them establish or expand programs that result in greater learning and enrichment for the students they serve.
The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) recently released a new report, Public Libraries and Effective Summer Learning: Opportunities for Assessment and executive summary. The new report documents ideas exchanged by leaders from both inside and outside the library field at the National Forum on Effective Summer Learning in Libraries.