Summer Matters

Why Summer Matters

Summer Matters because high quality summer learning is essential to preventing “summer learning loss” and encourages students to be lifelong learners, rather than solely classroom learners.

Summer months bring unique opportunities for learning outside the traditional school year and walls. High quality summer learning programs change students’ lives for the better each and every summer, improving students’ academic achievement and readiness to learn. Every year a child does not participate in a summer learning program puts them at risk for “summer learning loss”, weight gain and unhealthy eating.

The freedom of summer learning also provides uniquely innovative opportunities for learning and enrichment that the regular school day cannot – field trips, camping overnights and camp-like activities, and more quality time for educators to strengthen their relationships with students. Below is a sampling of research about the proven detriments of “summer learning loss” and the benefits of summer learning programs.

Summer Learning Loss

Summer Learning Loss | Horizons National 
See how and why summer learning loss is cumulative and disproportionately affects low-income students. 
Watch the video

Reading Achievement Trajectories | Society for Research on Child Development
See how summer learning loss can put children who lack access to summer learning programs nearly three grade equivalents behind their peers in reading by the end of fifth grade as a result of summer learning loss. Summer slide is characterized by measurable summer learning loss and significant achievement gaps between lower- and higher-income children.


Child Health & Wellness

Understand how limited summer activity and poor nutrition result in weight gain with long-term, dangerous health results.

Summertime and Weight Gain | National Summer Learning Association
More and more children in the United States are obese-and overweight children tend to become overweight or obese adults, leading to a host of health problems. Many people blame schools, but research shows the opposite.

Healthy Summers for Kids: TURNING RISK INTO OPPORTUNITY | National Summer Learning Association
This brief draws attention to summer as a time when risk for obesity and food insecurity both rise. The brief also provides a window into opportunities to make positive change to improve children’s health in summer.

The (Not So) Skinny on Summertime and Child Obesity | Joseph L Mahoney, PhD, University of California
A PowerPoint presentation outlining Dr. Mahoney’s findings that what children do in summer impacts their risk for obesity.

Summer Across the Country

Making Summer Count | Rand Corporation / Wallace Foundation
This report documents the benefits of effective, viable and sustainable summer learning programs in urban school districts and the need for more district-supported summer learning programs.

Summer Matters: How Summer Learning Strengthens Students’ Success | Public Profit
This 2012 evaluation report documents the effectiveness of summer learning programs in three California communities.

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