School’s out, but learning is not on vacation
Today we’re featuring guest blogger John Brandon, president of Voices member organization Marion County Commission on Youth.
All across America, school buildings are closed for the summer, but learning is NOT on vacation — thanks to the many high quality summer programs that aim to provide children and youth with opportunities and experiences that keep their skills growing during the summer break.
Whether run by school systems, faith-based organizations, municipalities, or community-based agencies, summer programs provide youth with safe places, lots of caring adults, and countless ways to keep their bodies and their brains moving forward. The work these programs do is critically important because research shows that young people, especially those who come from low-income situations, are at risk of losing 2-3 months of academic progress in the summer time if they are not involved in summer programs that stimulate their brains and bodies.
On June 21st, lots of us will be celebrating National Summer Learning Day in order to recognize and celebrate the great job that summer programs do in both preventing summer learning loss and promoting learning and skill gains during the months when formal educational programs are closed for vacation. Sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association and organized by programs all across the nation, National Summer Learning Day underscores the good work being done while pointing to the need for even more programs that can serve larger number of students who need the support and the educational opportunities that summer programs provide. The National Summer Learning Association serves as a network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country, providing tools, resources, and expertise to improve program quality, generate support, and increase youth access and participation.
Yes, summer is vacation time but it is also learning time–just in a different way. Whether it’s dabbling in rocketry or robotics; trying their hands at music, art, or drama; mastering baseball, soccer, or volleyball; or learning geography and history by studying other cultures, summer programs are another avenue of learning that help prepare young people for adulthood. So join in the celebration on National Summer Learning Day on June 21st–it is going to be a great time! And who knows, you might even learn something new.