Summer months add up to years of summer in kids' lives. Let's help all kids make the most of them.
What kids do over the summer matters.
It is a great, long time for kids to -
- Explore new passions
- Make friends from different places
- Get active and stay healthy
- Catch up on the last school year and get a head start on the next
- Learn in new ways, in different settings
But not all kids take part. And the kids who miss out lose a lot -
Missed, Unequal, and Limited Opportunities
- Only 1/3rd of kids across the nation took part in a summer learning program in 2013, even though 51% of families want their children to take part in one. Source
- Programs cost average $250 a week, well above what many families can afford. Source
- Only 42% of the kids who applied to but were rejected from a free summer program as part of a national study on their effectiveness were able to find another summer program to attend. Source
- Children from lower income families have spent 6,000 fewer hours engaged in formal and informal out-of-school learning by the age of twelve than their peers from well-to-do families. Source
Learning Losses over the Summer Add Up
- Students typically lose about 2 months' worth of math skills over the summer. Low income kids also lose that much in reading, while wealthier peers are likely to gain. Source
- Those effects are cumulative and explain a lot of the achievement gap between low income and high income families. Source
There is a lot we do not know about what happens over the summer - which kids in any given community attend or don't attend summer programs and why, how different summer programs & experiences (or their absence) connect to long-term academic, physical, and social well-being - which of course is even more of an argument for diving in to figure that out.
We can't take more breaks - we have to act:
Yet what we already do know is enough to act: to get more kids into available summer opportunities, to support and learn from amazing summer programs, and to expand summer programs through greater funding and volunteer support. There's lots of work being done, but there is much more to do - come join.