Summer is a time of “unclaimed time and space” that communities can seize to benefit disadvantaged children, according to Wallace Foundation President Will Miller.

Speaking at a meeting of New York City philanthropists, Miller described the skills children need for success as adults and how children from low-income families have far fewer opportunities to develop these skills than their higher-income peers. Part of this opportunity gap could be closed during the summer, he suggested. Miller further discussed how Wallace’s summer-learning initiatives are beginning to yield lessons about ways in which school districts and their out-of-school-time partners could help them do so. But more needs to be done, Miller said, before more young people can acquire the broad range of academic, social and emotional skills that equip them for success as adults.

The meeting was hosted by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), a national nonprofit that focuses on improving opportunities for children in the summer, and the New York Life Foundation.

Other speakers included Richard Berlin, executive director of Harlem RBI, Matthew Boulay, chair of the NSLA board of directors, Margaret McKenna, president of Suffolk University, Sarah Pitcock, CEO of NSLA, and Marlyn Torres, senior program officer at the New York Life Foundation.

PowerPoint—Making Summer Count for All Children