Most parents intuitively know that kids forget a lot of what they learned in school over the summer months. What parents haven’t known is how far-reaching the effects of this loss can be.
Thanks to US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and researchers at John Hopkins University, we now know that Summer Learning Loss accounts for 2/3 of the achievement gap nationally. What does this mean? If low-income children were given quality summer learning opportunities, they would be 2/3 more likely to pursue a college preparatory path in high school, to graduate, and to lead the way in our competitive global society. Without summer learning opportunities, these same children are more likely to drop out, to slip between the cracks, and to lose the curiosity that is innate to every child.
Summer Learning Loss is not just an issue for disadvantaged families. Researchers note that children across the socio-economic spectrum lose an average of over 2 months’ learning from the previous school year. Cumulatively, over K-12th grade, these counts for three academic years lost.
Enriching summer learning opportunities are a must for all children. The Public Agenda survey in 2009 discovered that “87% of parents who did send their children to summer programs that included academic and enrichment activities agreed that the programs helped prepare their children for the school year.” Currently, only 9% of 48 million public school students attend summer school programs. TIME Magazine’s August 2010 issue made the case for prioritizing summer learning. Summer provides a unique opportunity to cultivate the curiosity, confidence, and kindness kids need to become lifelong learners. As Duncan expressed in a recent speech, “I don’t worry about the students that are going to summer camps. One month at a quality summer camp can inspire a ripple effect of lifelong learning for kids from all backgrounds”.
Eva Vander Giessen
Edventure More is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to inspiring a lifelong curiosity in children. Through our partnership with top Bay Area museums and talented professionals, we create high-quality summer camps (Camp Edmo and Camp EdTech) and school year programs where children build a joyful approach towards learning and develop invaluable life skills. Edventure More is a local force in the national movement to prevent Summer Learning Loss and save hands-on learning in schools. We align our hands-on, curiosity-based learning with California State Standards to ensure each child’s personal and academic enrichment. Visit www.edventuremore.org