Why Summer?

For children in low resource communities, summer is more than a vacation from school; it is a crisis. 

During summer, students with the greatest need fall further and further behind. Summer learning loss, or summer slide, is responsible for as much as two-thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap. Every year a child does not participate in a summer learning opportunity puts them at risk for summer learning loss, weight gain, and unhealthy eating.

What if summer represented unique opportunities for learning instead?

While their more affluent peers enjoy family vacations, camps, sports, and trips to the museum, children from low resource communities miss out on meaningful learning. High quality summer learning programs change students’ lives for the better, improving academic achievement and readiness to learn.

Summer Learning is anything but business as usual.

Summer learning provides uniquely innovative opportunities for learning and enrichment. Field trips, projects, and camp-like activities provide meaningful and engaging learning experiences. Unlike a remedial or mandatory summer school, high quality summer programs make learning meaningful and engaging.

Summer has a lasting effect.

  • The long term effects of summer learning loss are permanent and significant. Cumulative effects contribute directly to a widening of the achievement gap between students fro low-income families and their middle and upper income peers.
  • Research shows children from low-income families are nearly three grade equivalents behind their more affluent peers in reading by the end of the fifth grade, due to summer learning loss.
  • Unequal summer learning opportunities during elementary school are responsible for about two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
  • Most children gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school for summer, with summer weight gain especially pronounced among minority children.
  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. For children from low-resource communities, public funding for summer learning is critical.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical skills over the summer months.
  • Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.

How can we stop summer slide?

Equitable access to high quality summer learning opportunities can end the crisis that is summer learning loss.