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Creating opportunities for youth this summer

By Erik Peterson

The Summer Opportunity Project is a multi-agency effort launched on Feb. 25 by the Obama Administration in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and other collaborators to provide support to communities. The effort hopes to significantly increase the percentage of young people in evidence-based summer opportunity programs, decrease the percentage of youth experiencing violence over the summer, and—more broadly—make sure that young Americans have the support they need to get their first job. To meet this challenge, state and local leaders, community-based organizations, private sector leaders, philanthropic leaders, schools and other youth-serving agencies are uniting to create a set of supports that enable strong transitions between school years and from high school to college, which include quality summer learning programs, access to healthy summer meals and summer jobs.

The Summer Opportunity Project was launched last Friday at a White House event that honored Champions of Change in summer programs, including OregonASK executive director Beth Unverzagt.

Afterschool and summer learning programs and advocates can connect to the effort by accessing the Summer Opportunity Federal Resource Guide. The White House and NSLA released this new guide to help local governments and nonprofits identify, navigate, and use federal programs to support summer programming. This is part of a broad effort to improve how the federal government partners with local communities, recognizing the multifaceted nature of challenges at the local level and the opportunity to connect local projects with federal funding and technical assistance.

The guide offers:

  • Descriptions of applicable federal, state, and local funding streams
  • Examples of how to use local partnerships and private funding to leverage public resources
  • Spotlighted strategies and examples of funding in action
  • Case studies of how high quality district and community-based summer learning programs obtained funds 
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learn more about: Obama Summer Learning