Celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 14, 2016!

by Robert Abare

Summer is here! Although school is out, summer learning programs are making sure kids are continuing to learn exciting new things, make academic strides, and stay physically active. The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) encourages communities across the country to celebrate the importance of summer learning programs on National Summer Learning Day: July 14, 2016. Visit the NSLA website to find an event near you, register your own event, or explore summer learning resources for families or communities.

New book makes the case that Summers Matter

The founder of the NSLA, Matthew Boulay, PhD, helped kick of this year’s National Summer Learning Day with the release of a new book, Summers Matter: 10 Things Every Parent, Teacher, & Principal Should Know About June, July, & August. The book is the first to explore the “summer learning gap,” or the challenge of providing educational and engaging activities for kids during the summer months.

"How do we keep our children safe and supervised when schools are closed but adults still have to work? How do we preserve the academic gains that children achieved during the school year?” asks Boulay. “The good news is that researchers have quietly amassed a mountain of evidence documenting why summers matter and what we can do as parents and educators to help our children during the months when schools are closed.”

Summers Matter translates the most compelling research into accessible tips and guidance for parents and school leaders on how they can integrate summer learning programs into their communities, regardless of income or access. Proceeds from the book support the NSLA.

Boulay added, “We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what our children do during their summers has a long-term and significant impact on their academic achievement and life chances."

Other resources to help you celebrate National Summer Learning Day

If you’re looking for a breadth of insights on summer learning, Wallace Foundation’s Summer Learning Knowledge Center offers a number of reports on best practices and outcomes related to summer learning programs. For a good place to start, try exploring the Foundation’s report, Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success.

America After 3PM, the research series of the Afterschool Alliance, also offers a number of helpful findings and infographics to help you spread the word about why summer learning programs deserve widespread public support. Check out our Summer Learning Fact Sheet for a quick overview of key findings, like the fact that 51 percent of families reported they would like their children to participate in a summer learning program, but obstacles like cost or access make that impossible.

There are many ways to celebrate summer learning programs for National Summer Learning Day on July 14th. Check out these resources, and let us know how you’re planning to celebrate (or post pics from your event!) on social media with the hashtags #SummerLearning or #KeepKidsLearning!

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