America After 3 PM: Special Report on Summer

Click here to download the full report:
 America After 3 PM: Special Report on Summer

America After 3PM Special Report on Summer finds that summer learning programs are serving a significant portion of our nation’s children, but even more children are not reaping the benefits of these valuable programs each summer. The demand for programs is very high, especially among those who need them most.

  • Three quarters 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, the number and percentage of children participating in summer enrichment programs is startlingly low.
      1. – Twenty-five percent of children (an estimated 14.3 million4) participate in summer learning programs. Forty-three percent of summer participants qualify for free/reduced price lunch5.
        – Children who participate in afterschool programs participate in summer learning programs at much higher levels than children who do not attend afterschool programs during the regular school year. Fifty-five percent of afterschool participants were in a summer learning program in 2008, compared to 21 percent of students who did not participate in afterschool programs.

  • There are many quality summer learning programs around the country, but not nearly enough to keep pace with demand.
        – Fifty-six percent of non-participating children (an estimated 24 million) would be likely to participate in a summer learning program, based on parent interest.
        – What’s more, nearly half the children (46 percent) who are likely to participate in a summer learning program are eligible for free/ reduced price lunch.

  • While ethnic minority and low-income children are more likely than others to be in summer learning programs, the unmet demand is great.
      1. – Thirty-five percent of African-American, 29 percent of Hispanic and 27 percent of low-income children attended summer learning programs in 2008, compared to the national average of 25 percent.
        – Yet more than three in four African-American kids (77 percent) and at least two in three Hispanic (70 percent) and low-income (67 percent) kids would likely enroll in a summer learning program, based on parent interest.

  • Parents overwhelmingly support summer learning programs, and there is even greater support among parents of minority and low-income students.
      1. – Eight in ten parents (83 percent) support public funding for summer learning programs.
        – Fully 95 percent of African-American, 91 percent of Hispanic and 90 percent of low-income parents support public funding for summer learning programs.

< < Previous | Next > >


4. Estimations of the number of children included in this study reflect projections calculated using 2007 U.S. Census school-age population data.

5. For the purposes of this report, qualification for free/reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program is used as a proxy for low-income. (For the 2008-2009 school year, a family of four with an annual income of $39,220 or lower would qualify for assistance under the National School Lunch Program).