Research confirms that the arts prepare students for school, life, and work. Summer is a blank canvas for creativity and self-expression through music, literature, dance, theater, visual arts, and so much more. Spark the imagination and a muse that delights the spirit of child.
Ready, Set, Succeed! Support a student in charting their course for success during and beyond high school. A summer job, internship, mentorship, or plan to pursue higher education sets our future leaders on a path to change the world
Healthy bodies and healthy minds go hand-in-hand in stemming summer learning loss. Summer is the perfect time to get on our feet and get moving. And since hunger doesn’t take a vacation, be sure to check out free summer meal programs.
Who doesn’t love a good tale? Dive into a literary adventure under a tree, in makeshift tent, during family reading night, or with a story or play you and your child create together. Let imaginations run wild with amazing stories this summer!
The America After 3PM special report, Time for a Game-Changing Summer, With Opportunity and Growth for All of America’s Youth, is based on research commissioned and funded by The Wallace Foundation as part of its mission to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices. Data from this special report is based on the 2020 America After 3PM survey results, which would not have been possible without generous support from the New York Life Foundation, Overdeck Family Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Altria Group, and the Walton Family Foundation, as well as the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Out-of-school time (OST) professionals know the importance of summer. It is something we live and breathe every year from the time the last school bell tolls until the ringing begins again at the start of another academic year. The research has already proven that 1) summer learning programs increase access to opportunities, 2) high attendance at summer programs improves scores in math and language arts, and 3) high attendance and consecutive attendance produce academic benefits for students, (McCombs et al., 2020). So how do we take what we know and put it into practice? A great place to start is participation in Summer Learning Week.
This week dedicated to celebrating the richness of out-of-school time and the opportunity available during summer is a great time to showcase what your program has to offer! Consider opening this celebration of fun and learning experience to your local community as a means of promoting the great work of OST. As we move through this week, we should also take steps toward planning an OST future where programming is accessible to students and families regardless of their ability to pay. “Thirty-nine percent of parents who did not have a child in a structured summer experience report that they did not enroll their child in a summer program because programs were too expensive…For families with low incomes, the cost of programs was by far the most common reason for not enrolling their child in a summer program,” (Wallace Foundation, 2021, 9). Learn more about your community and additional barriers to accessing programming and commit to breaking them down, particularly in summer! Use this information to prioritize the students not yet reached by your amazing services. Learn more about Summer Learning Week and how it can be a great first step for a future of free to low-cost programming for more students within Harris County. This year, Summer Learning Week; next year, the entire summer!
Visit the National Summer Learning Association website to learn more about Summer Learning Week and explore the available resources.
McCombs, J. S., Augustine, C. H., Pane, J. F., & Schweig, J. (2020). Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project. Wallace.