America After 3 PM: Special Report on Summer

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 America After 3 PM: Special Report on Summer

There are significant differences in how children of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds spend their summers. While support is strong among the entire population, high need populations back summer learning programs in even greater numbers.


Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status of Summer Learning Program Participants


Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status of Likely Participants


There are not enough summer learning programs to meet the demand.

Much like what America After 3PM found for afterschool programs, it is clear that demand for summer learning programs far outpaces supply. Parents overwhelmingly support public funding for programs and, based on parent interest, an estimated 24 million more kids would enroll in summer learning programs if they could.

The findings are especially dramatic for low-income and minority youth. While an estimated three million African-American children and 3.3 million Hispanic children participate in summer learning programs, parents of another estimated 4.4 million African-American children and 5.6 million Hispanic children are interested in enrolling their children in a summer learning program.


Children who are without access to summer learning programs are at particular risk of losing the academic, social and emotional gains that they have accrued during the school year. In our country today, too many children slip farther and farther behind each summer. Just as afterschool programs have the potential to support student learning, so do summer learning programs. In many cases, the same providers can offer both afterschool and summer learning programs, and kids who participate in afterschool programs are more likely to participate in summer learning programs, too. By increasing our investment in afterschool and summer, we can better ensure that all kids make the most of summer, start each school year better prepared to learn, and maintain that learning advantage throughout the year.

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