For many of the students JerseyCAN advocates for, summer is not all fun and games. For decades, researchers have been concerned about “summer learning loss.”

According to Brookings:

  • Although the research has varied, one study found that students can lose 25-30% of school-year learning over the summer, and black and Latino students lose more than their white counterparts.
  • The quality of summer programming matters – middle-income students often benefit more from summer learning efforts than low-income students because they have access to better resources, such as research-based instruction and high-quality teachers.

Information like this can be overwhelming for parents. One the one hand, the threat of summer regression seems very real, but the wrong type of programming can stand in the way of progress. With all this in mind, the pressure to pick the right summer learning opportunity can be intense.

So, where can parents look for help? Here’s a few of our favorite places to find high-quality summer learning tools, ideas, research and more:

Learning Heroes offers reports and tools related to a number of educational issues, including homework, standards & assessments, college planning and more. With their Summer Stride Program, you can do a readiness check with your kids. It only takes a few minutes! Have your child answer 3-5 questions as a quick math and reading review. It isn’t a test – your child can relax and solve the problems – like a game! At the end, you’ll get fun, free activities to help your child learn at home.

National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) partnered with Learning Heroes to bring you Summer Stride, and they’re also one of the leading organizations focused on closing the achievement gap through investments in summer learning. Check out their Knowledge Center, where you’ll find a summer reading list, a summer learning tip sheet, research briefs and more.

The Urban Libraries Council– Your local library can be a great partner for educational summer activities! As the premier membership organization for public library systems in North America, the council shares best practices for library programs that support innovation and 21st century learning. Another partner of NSLA, they offer a resource guide, summer learning publications and more.

PBS Learning Media: In partnership with NJTV, PBS has curated free, standards-aligned resources for teachers, including videos, lesson plans and more. Their Summer Learning collection offers activities for PreK-12, and divides them into four categories (Travel & Culture, In the Neighborhood, Reading & Writing, Arts & Crafts and Outdoors).

We know that there may be many great resources that we missed here. How have you and your family avoided summer learning loss? How do you recognize a high-quality summer learning opportunity? Have you found a summer learning resource that you find particularly effective? Tell us about it!


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