Summer Learning Programs
America After 3PM
“Summer Slump” Statistics: if you don't use it, you lose it.
- A 2007 report by Johns Hopkins University researchers cites that roughly two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years.
- Research conducted by Harris Cooper of Duke University places the average student loses at least a month's worth of learning over the summer. In math, the loss is even greater, with an average of 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency loss over the summer period.
- The Center for Summer Learning found that effective summer learning programs have been linked to positive outcomes for youth. Specifically, effective programs led to higher attendance and achievement during the school year, increased motivation and engagement, and increased skill development.
It's a classic case of two steps forward, three steps back. School lets out for the summer and students—especially those from low-income backgrounds—are at risk of losing critical academic ground.
Referred to as the “summer slump,” research shows students return to school from summer vacation with diminished reading skills, presumably from lack of practice. A 2007 study published in American Sociological Review showed the tipping point for the achievement gap between high and low-socioeconomic student's loss in reading proficiency occurred during the summer months throughout the elementary grades—making programs like High Point Scholars even more pivotal.
School Improvement Grant were used its first year of the much-needed grant funding to increase wraparound services, especially necessary for its high-needs student population. Health care, counselors—even embedding a local chapter of the YMCA inside the school—have helped educators attend to the whole child with the hopes of increasing student achievement as a result.
2010 After-School Alliance Report finds that 3/4 's of America's schoolchildren are not participating in summer learning programs, despite a growing awareness that summer learning loss is a major contributor to the achievement gap between low-income and high-income youth.
Of the 25% of children (an estimated 14.3 million) that participate in summer learning programs, 43% qualify for free/reduced price lunch. Yet 56% of non-participating children (an estimated 24 million) would likely participate in a summer learning program, based on parent interest, if one were available to them, and of these, 46% are eligible for free/ reduced price lunch.
35% of African-American, 29% of Hispanic, and 27% of low-income children attended summer learning programs in 2008 compared to the national average of 25%.
More than three in four African-American kids (77%) and at least two in three Hispanic (70%) and low-income (67%) kids would likely enroll in a summer learning program, based on parent interest, if they could.
Eight in ten parents (83%) support public funding for summer learning programs. Fully 95% of African-American, 91% of Hispanic, and 90% of low-income parents support public funding for summer learning programs.
In Pennsylvania, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), the only federal program dedicated to afterschool, provides funds for afterschool programs that serve primarily Title I students. Eligible applicants include schools, community-based organizations, and public, private, or faith-based organizations. A total of 95 grantees serve 285 afterschool centers with students from 554 feeder schools. In its last competition, the 21st CCLC program awarded only 75 grants out of a total of 118 applicants.
Estimated at a cost of $1,000/child
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) provides vouchers or subsidies for low-income parents to pay for childcare, including preschool, before-school, afterschool and summer care for schoolage children (ages 5-12). CCDBG had been level-funded until 2009, when the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act brought an increase in funding and Pennsylvania qualified for $60,146,767. CCDGB was level-funded again in 2010, but for FY11, President Obama proposed a $1.6 billion national increase
to CCDBG, which will help to improve the availability of school-age care across the country. However, even with the President's proposed increase, further investments in this federal funding source will be necessary to promote access to quality afterschool programs.