By the time a low-income child enters fifth grade, he or she can be up to three grade levels behind other classmates in reading and math. One key contributor to this gap is the absence of learning opportunities during summer months, which results in learning loss.
To combat this loss, the Summer Matters campaign—a coalition of educators, policymakers, and families—with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, began to support high quality summer learning programs throughout California. The campaign also educates stakeholders about the importance of summer learning opportunities to address the local needs of children and youth. The infographic and accompanying story provide an overview of the Summer Matters campaign and the course of expanded learning in California.
After seven years of intense focus, awareness of the importance of high-quality summer learning is growing. California school districts, partner organizations, and state policymakers report a better understanding of the importance of summer experiences and an enhanced focus on quality in summer programs. Today more flexible funding exists for districts to operate summer programs and training and technical assistance is available to help make those programs great. A robust network is emerging to continue to bring school leaders, program providers, technical assistance providers, and advocates together to improve the availability of summer learning across the state. Most importantly, more students now have access to quality summer learning experiences.