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Thursday, 16th June 2011

Making Summer Programs Part of the Learning Equation

Source: RAND Corporation

From the abstract:

Summer learning programs can prevent the loss of knowledge and skills that occurs over the summer for many students and especially low-income students. School districts, providers, policymakers, and funders should make planning a year-round effort start early to hire quality staff and recruit students, incorporate best practices from successful programs, establish partnerships, seek and support stable funding, expand the research base on the long-term and cumulative effects of programs.

Increasingly, educators and policymakers consider additional learning time to be key in improving the achievement of low-performing students. The RAND study showed the following:

  • Summer learning loss, which is disproportionate and cumulative, contributes substantially to the achievement gap.
  • Many types of summer programs benefit students who participate, including voluntary programs, mandatory programs, and reading-at-home programs.
  • Strategies for maximizing quality, enrollment, and attendance are critical to achieving benefits.
  • Partnerships among districts, community-based organizations, government agencies, local funders, and others can strengthen summer learning programs.
  • Despite the clear benefits of these programs, some district leaders question the cost-effectiveness of summer learning programs, and many have discontinued them in response to budget cuts.

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An Info Pro, librarian, entrepreneur, author, worldwide connector and book-lover, Heather Negley is recognized for her new ways of thinking about librarianship, research, social media and creativity. Heather is the founder of HelpALibrarian.com and Zing Information Services. She has most recently been an Information Research Specialist with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress where she provided business research for members of Congress and their staffs. Heather also worked as a research reporter for U.S. News and World Report and as a technical advertising producer on the washingtonpost.com. She received her MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA.

Heather can be reached at heather.negley@freepint.com

More articles by Heather Negley »

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