Schools Out—But We’re Still Learning

Summer Learning Day is just around the corner. Communities across the country will host events and programs on June 19 to increase awareness of the importance of helping kids continue to learn during the critical summer months. That’s when children from low-income families fall further behind their middle-class peers, exacerbating the achievement gap.

Once schools close for the summer, children who lose access to educational opportunities lose two months of grade-level equivalency in math by the time they return to school. For children in low-income families, the impact is often worse. In addition to losing math skills, they also lose more than two months in reading achievement, even as their middle-class peers make slight gains. If we are to achieve our shared expectation that every child will be on the path to achieving reading proficiency by the end of third grade, we must provide all children with access to learning opportunities year-round. Addressing the summer slide is a critical component of our work around access.

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), the force behind this national effort, is dedicated to ensuring that children and youth across the country have the opportunity to engage in high-quality summer learning experiences that pave the way to success in school, college, and life. To achieve that goal, it established Summer Learning Day and developed a broad range of resources to help communities host successful events.

The NSLA offers a broad range of resources to help communities host successful events, including customizable copy for event press releases, email, social media posts, and materials for families. The NSLA website also has a map where communities can promote their events. More than 90 events are posted on the national map, including four in Georgia. One example is Project XL at the Fayette County Public Library. There children will become illustrators as they listen to books and create artwork that depicts what they have heard.

If your community is hosting a Summer Learning Day event, be sure to post it today.