Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) partners with a number of community-based organizations (CBOs) to serve more than 6,500 students. Through the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY), the city provides funding to CBOs to serve more than 2,400 students, many in partnership with OUSD programming. Still more students are served by Oakland Parks and Recreation, city libraries, and community based organizations operating alongside this system. With such great diversity of programs, funding, and partnerships, there is a need for coordination and collaboration to ensure as many young people as possible are provided with high-quality summer learning opportunities.
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.
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), in collaboration with the White House, Civic Nation, and U.S. Department of Education developed the 2016 Funding Resource Guide to help state and local leaders identify the most promising funding streams to support summer learning and to show how innovative states, districts, and communities have creatively blended public and private funding to develop programs, services and opportunities to meet the needs of young people during the critical summer months.
With the Packard Foundation’s support, a coalition of educators, policymakers, and families launched the Summer Matters campaign. Eager to build on-the-ground models of great summer programming, the stakeholders worked to create high-quality programs across the state that address local needs of children and youth.