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Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program2852GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​The school bell may have stopped ringing, but summer is a great time for all kinds of learning opportunities for kids. In honor of this year’s National Summer Learning Week, here are some helpful reports, tools and articles to guide your summer program. And don’t forget to check out the <a href="https&#58;//www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week/" target="_blank">National Summer Learning Association</a> to discover summer programs, additional resources and more during this week-long celebration.<br><br> </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-how-districts-plan-develop-and-implement-programs.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" alt="supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;146px;height&#58;188px;" />Supporting Quality in Summer Learning&#58; How Districts Plan, Develop, and Implement Programs</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>School district-led summer programs play a critical role in supporting students academically and providing them with enriching experiences. Drawing on existing research and the perspectives of policymakers and field professionals, this recently released report looks at the policies, practices and resources that go into the planning, development and operation of these programs.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-access-to-quality-summer-learning-enrichment.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" alt="summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;145px;height&#58;207px;" />Summer for All&#58; Building Coordinated Networks to Promote Access to Quality Summer Learning and Enrichment Opportunities Across a Community</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>This report looks at how schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations in four cities formed coordinated networks to increase access to high-quality summer programming for young people.<br><br></p><p> <br> </p><p> <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/two-summer-programs-inch-towards-normal-as-covid-subsides.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" alt="blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;274px;height&#58;117px;" />Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides</strong></a>&#160;​Summer programs could be a key to addressing lost instructional and extracurricular time from COVID-19, and summer program leaders can learn a lot from the past two summers. Read about how two programs in New York and New Jersey have adapted to help young people through the pandemic, and how they’ve been preparing for this unpredictable summer.<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;144px;height&#58;206px;" />Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed.</strong></a>&#160;This report addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations on such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. It also discusses the costs associated with offering a voluntary summer program and provides suggestions for lowering them, such as working with community-based organizations and consolidating program sites into as few buildings as possible.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" alt="blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;180px;height&#58;110px;" />Summer Learning Toolkit</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>One of our most popular resources, the Summer Learning Toolkit consists of more than 50, evidence-based tools and resources drawn from the work of five urban school districts and their partners, and aligned with research from RAND. It might be a bit late to start planning this year, but it’s never too early to start the pre-planning for next summer!</p>​<br>Jenna Doleh912022-07-13T04:00:00ZFrom research reports and our popular hands-on toolkit to interviews with program staff and parents, these materials can help you plan a high-quality summer program.7/13/2022 1:00:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program From research reports and case studies to our popular hands-on toolkit 688https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides40943GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning<p>​​T​​​​​​​​​​​​renton, N.J., <a href="https&#58;//www.nj.com/mercer/2014/04/from_iron_to_steel_to_pottery_trenton_once_flexed_industrial_might_for_world_to_take.html" target="_blank">a former manufacturing hub</a> where <a href="https&#58;//www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/trentoncitynewjersey/AGE775219#AGE775219" target="_blank">nearly a third of the population now lives in poverty</a>, is not known for nature or green spaces. It is understandable, then, that when two busloads of children from the city arrived last August at the&#160;<a href="https&#58;//princetonblairstown.org/" target="_blank">​​Princeton-Blairstown Center</a>, a bucolic, 268-acre environmental education center in Blairstown, N.J., some were a bit nervous.</p><p>When some two dozen children set out on canoes to explore the center’s Bass Lake, two stayed behind, both terrified of the unfamiliar body of water. Staffers had to coax them into the lake, first getting the children into life jackets, then helping them onto canoes, then gently bumping off the pier and, only when the panicked parties had found their sea legs, paddling off to join the other students in the center of the lake.<br></p><p> This is what the Princeton-Blairstown Center, a 114-year-old organization that brings students from some of the poorest parts of New Jersey to its campus in Blairstown every summer, calls “challenge by choice.” The goal is to help <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-lets-talk-social-and-emotional-learning-(sel)-podcast.aspx?_ga=2.40619170.1045308987.1648136693-1352763000.1643649010">build social and emotional skills</a> by getting children out of their comfort zones, helping them confront some fears and showing them how they could use those experiences to overcome challenges at home, in school and in their communities. The practice can cause its share of anxious outbursts, but staffers are trained to help students learn from them. “That’s the whole point of our activities,” says Christopher Trilleras, one of the counselors who helped the wobbly mariners onto Bass Lake. “To process frustrations at the end, to really talk about them and prevent them.”<br></p><p>Such<a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/helping-children-feel-safe,-understood-and-supported.aspx?_ga=2.47824935.1045308987.1648136693-1352763000.1643649010"> social and emotional support is especially important</a> for children today, as the coronavirus pandemic has robbed them of months of school, play and interpersonal experimentation. The Wallace editorial team visited two summer programs in 2021—one operated by the Princeton-Blairstown Center and the other by <a href="https&#58;//freshair.org/" target="_blank">The Fresh Air Fund</a> in New York City—to see how they worked to help young people overcome the effects of months of isolation, including social anxiety, emotional volatility and a lack of focus after several school terms spent spacing out on Zoom. Both programs have had to get creative with established practices to help young people through two Covid-infested summers, staffers say, and are learning from those experiences to take on an unpredictable summer ahead.<br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read fae0f294-6dd2-4d33-b4ca-9d4fcd783c83" id="div_fae0f294-6dd2-4d33-b4ca-9d4fcd783c83" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_fae0f294-6dd2-4d33-b4ca-9d4fcd783c83" unselectable="on" style="display&#58;none;"></div></div><h3 class="wf-Element-H3"> <br>Old principles, new social and emotional needs<br></h3><p>The two organizations, both more than a century old, have well-developed practices to help young people develop the sorts of social and emotional skills that the pandemic appears to have compromised. When they take children out canoeing, for example, they’re working to help children build confidence to confront new experiences. When they design collaborative construction projects or obstacle courses, they’re looking to grease social wheels and encourage teamwork. When they teach kids to tend to vegetable gardens or model farms, they’re working to foster a sense of responsibility. The students’ mere presence in peaceful but unfamiliar outdoor spaces, far removed from their regular lives in urban centers such as Trenton, New York City and Newark, N.J., can help build relationships, says Pam Gregory, president and chief executive officer of the Princeton-Blairstown Center. “When you come together for a week with people who have a shared experience that’s really unique from most of the other people in your life,” she says, “you form a very close bond.” </p><p>Such practices can be insufficient in a pandemic, however. Months in isolation without social opportunities have made many young people more reluctant to try new things, program staffers say. Last August in Sunset Park, a diverse, middle-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., about 30 tots and tweens spent a morning practicing crafts, learning to dance and racing handmade carts on a street blocked off for summer programs by The Fresh Air Fund. Most seemed comfortable enough, but one 10-year-old clung to a counselor, too uncomfortable to approach the others. It was a situation familiar to Jane Li, an area resident whose son faced similar anxieties when he first came to The Fresh Air Fund.&#160; “Sometimes in the beginning, he’s a little withdrawn,” Li says of her son. “Maya, the counselor, she talks to him, plays games with him, gets him warmed up and gradually join the small group and then the bigger group.” </p><p>Some counselors are even able to use the pandemic to help students deal with deeper traumas. Many students who find their way to the Princeton-Blairstown Center or The Fresh Air Fund have histories of homelessness, domestic abuse or worse. Tabs Alam, a senior environmental education facilitator at the Princeton-Blairstown Center, speaks of group sessions with students where conversations began with talk of the pandemic but ended with discussion of more visceral worries about home, family, friends and poverty. Some students will admit how they find lockdowns especially hard, Alam says, because home has never been safe for them. </p><p>“Covid was a vessel to have people think about themselves a little bit more,” she says.<br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read c042efd2-9392-414f-9c95-097f0727d9c0" id="div_c042efd2-9392-414f-9c95-097f0727d9c0" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_c042efd2-9392-414f-9c95-097f0727d9c0" unselectable="on" style="display&#58;none;"></div></div><h3 class="wf-Element-H3"> <br>Learning Without Knowing It</h3><p>There are fewer silver linings when it comes to academics, however. School closures and other pandemic-related disruptions have set students, especially “historically marginalized students,” months behind, according to <a href="https&#58;//www.mckinsey.com/industries/education/our-insights/covid-19-and-education-the-lingering-effects-of-unfinished-learning" target="_blank">consulting firm McKinsey &amp; Company</a>. Basic math and English are rarely the central focus of programs like The Fresh Air Fund and the Princeton-Blairstown Center, but they are still working to help students regain the ground they’ve lost. </p><p>Both face two major constraints when doing so. For one thing, &#160;they can’t really drag children into classrooms and force them to make up for the academics they’ve lost. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx?_ga=2.47824935.1045308987.1648136693-1352763000.1643649010">Research suggests</a> that attendance is a key component of student success, and students are unlikely to want to attend if they’re crammed back into rooms after months spent indoors. </p><p>For another,&#160;both programs have less time than usual to dedicate to academics. In normal times, the Princeton-Blairstown Center would host its students for at least five days, while The Fresh Air Fund would shuttle campers to nature reserves north of New York City for two weeks. In 2021, after a season spent online, the Princeton-Blairstown Center was able to offer four days of programming in parks and schoolyards in its students' communities and a fifth-day daytrip to Blairstown. The Fresh Air Fund had to move most activities to New York City, cordoning off streets for camp-like activities for two, three-hour sessions a day, four days a week. </p><p>Both programs work to meet these twin challenges by doubling down on one of the things they do best&#58; making learning fun. “We like to fold education in without kids knowing that they’re learning,” says Sheila Wilson-Wells, chief program officer of The Fresh Air Fund. The programs feature libraries that staffers encourage students to use and quiet spaces where students can read, reflect and write. They also offer activities such as cooking, architecture and soil and water analysis that help students brush up on science and math. “For a lot of the young people that we serve, it’s the first time that they understand that learning can be fun,” Gregory says. “Because it’s hands-on, not just sitting there doing worksheets or a lecture.”</p><p>“Throughout their time with us, they’re learning,” adds Wilson-Wells. “From the time they get off the bus and they don’t even know it.”</p><p>Such subtle blends of academics, fun and social and emotional learning are essential in summer programs, say Aaron Dworkin and Broderick Clarke of the <a href="https&#58;//www.summerlearning.org/" target="_blank">National Summer Learning Association</a>​ (NSLA), especially in the wake of a crippling pandemic. “We have to get away from false-choice binary arguments that are a waste of time,” says&#160;Dworkin, chief executive officer of the NSLA. “Do kids need academic help or do they need social emotional help? They need both.”</p><p>“The best practitioners don't necessarily make that distinction or separation,” adds&#160;Clarke, the association’s vice president for programs. “They figure out a way to make the magic happen and to incorporate social and emotional competencies in the course of whatever activities they're presenting.”</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">O to Struggle Against Great Odds…</h3><p>Summer programs must make this magic happen while dealing with their own daunting challenges, from staff burnout and fatigue to the limited time they have with their campers. Three characteristics help them do so, say staffers from the two programs&#58; flexibility, partnerships and continuous improvement.</p><p>Both programs have had to be nimble to offer children as much programming as the pandemic permits. When the coronavirus shut everything down in 2020, for example, the Princeton-Blairstown Center sent its students “PBC in a Bag,” kits with books, snacks and the materials they needed for daily activities such as building catapults and seeing how far they could shoot projectiles across their rooms. After each activity, counselors led discussions on Zoom and helped students draw lessons from the experience. “It was very challenging for our facilitators,” says&#160;Gregory, “but over time they perfected it.”</p><p>The following summer, as the relative safety of outdoor gatherings became clearer, the Princeton-Blairstown Center resumed in-person activities. It still couldn’t host people overnight, as most parents were still nervous about children sharing rooms, so it devised its schedule of four days in students’ neighborhoods and one at its Blairstown campus so students could get at least a little taste of nature. It isn’t much, but Richad Hollis, a rising eighth grader from Trenton visiting the center in August, appeared to appreciate it. “In Trenton, it’s just streets and people playing outside,” he said. “Here, it’s a whole creek right over here. It’s just way more stuff that you can do other than just running around in the streets.”</p><p>The Fresh Air Fund never stopped in-person programming, but it created <a href="https&#58;//freshair.org/summer-spaces/" target="_blank">a new Summer Spaces</a> program to avoid crowding children into buses or dorms. It blocked traffic on 11 city blocks throughout New York City and opened them up so children could drop in for activities including dancing, sports, STEM projects and arts and crafts. Each site featured two health and safety officers to ensure adherence to pandemic protocols and social workers traveled from site to site to help acclimate children unnerved by the sudden onslaught of social activity. </p><p>These adaptations would have been impossible without partnerships, says Wilson-Wells. To find and secure city blocks, staffers worked with communities, city councilmembers and the New York City Department of Transportation. To offer dance lessons, they recruited performers through a partnership with&#160; the <a href="https&#58;//www.abt.org/" target="_blank">American Ballet Theatre</a>. To help teach science, they asked for help from <a href="https&#58;//www.biobus.org/" target="_blank">Biobus</a>, a New York City-based organization that runs mobile labs for children. To get books, they worked with the Brooklyn and Queens libraries. “There were so many wonderful partners that really pulled together to do comprehensive services,” Wilson-Wells says, “so we can ensure that, even in the pandemic, we were able to impart learning moments.”</p><p>There are about 22 million children who receive free or reduced-price lunches in American schools, according to the <a href="https&#58;//schoolnutrition.org/aboutschoolmeals/schoolmealtrendsstats/" target="_blank">School Nutrition Association</a>, a trade group for the school-food-service industry. Such partnerships are essential to get those children the services they need, says Aaron Dworkin of the NSLA. “No one program can serve 22 million kids,” he says. “But collectively, we can.”</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">…To Meet Enemies Undaunted</h3><p>Both programs are now using these experiences to gear up for an uncertain summer ahead, inching towards traditional programming, keeping what worked during the pandemic and tweaking what did not. The Fresh Air Fund plans to reopen camps for two-week experiences again. But 2022 will include important adjustments to help students and staffers adapt and respond to new realities. The organization will open just four of its six camps and limit capacity to 50 percent. The reduction in size, says Wilson-Wells, should help get campers the extra attention they need, give staffers room to reacquaint themselves with camp life and ensure everyone has enough space to return to social distancing should that become necessary. </p><p>To help meet the demand it cannot meet at its condensed camps, The Fresh Air Fund will continue to operate the Summer Spaces program it created during the pandemic. However, as it begins to direct resources back to more traditional programs, it will trim that program from 11 sites to four, focusing on neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the pandemic and where families have expressed the greatest interest. </p><p>All experiences, both at the camps and in New York City, will still include the health and safety workers who&#160;helped ensure adherence​​ to Covid restrictions during the pandemic. Staffers felt kids could use more social and emotional support, however, so the fund will replace its traveling social workers with support staffers dedicated to each site. “We're hoping that that will allow us to have organic conversations with young people to really hear how we can best serve them,” says Wilson-Wells.</p><p>The Princeton-Blairstown Center, meanwhile, is staying flexible. It will begin to host groups for overnight sessions at Blairstown if the parents, schools and organizations that send them are comfortable. But it will keep a pandemic schedule to accommodate students from communities with low vaccination rates, those who may live with vulnerable family members in multigenerational households and those whose regular teachers are too Covid-worn to chaperone them.</p><p>Like The Fresh Air Fund, the center is adapting that pandemic schedule based on observations from the last two years. The one, five-hour day at Blairstown seemed rushed in 2021, Gregory says, so the center&#160; may expand it to an eight-hour day for children who cannot visit for a whole week. The extra time, says Gregory, would allow children to experience more of the pastoral expanse of the Blairstown campus, learn more about their relationships with nature and form closer bonds with each other. “Dosage matters,” she says. “The amount of time kids spend doing the activities matters a lot.”<br></p><p>The center will also tweak its curriculum to adapt to shifting needs during the pandemic. In 2021, most students read <em>Seedfolks</em>, a book about 13&#160;children of different ethnicities tending a community garden in Cleveland. To spark conversations, counselors asked students which of the book's characters they found most relatable. The book remains the same for 2022, but the discussion will now focus on the plants in the garden and what they could teach campers about sprouting from the ashes of a pandemic. &quot;It's to provide kids with more of an opportunity to talk about how challenging it's been,&quot; Gregory says, &quot;and what they need moving forward.&quot; </p><p>It is unclear whether such careful planning can help children recover from the two years they have lost to the pandemic. Many parents and educators, however, are happy just to see them get out, let loose and have fun again. “They were free to run,” says Alice Lightner, a parent who was chaperoning children in Blairstown in August. “They were free to play, free to explore and engage with their peers.”</p><p>“Getting in touch with nature, just a quick walk, you feel so at peace,” adds Samantha Elliott, another parent. “I just saved probably about $500 from the therapist.”<br></p> <p><em>Additional reporting, editing and production work by </em><a href="/about-wallace/people/pages/jenna-doleh.aspx"><em>Jenna Doleh</em></a><em>.</em><br></p>Sarosh Z. Syed502022-03-29T04:00:00ZThe Princeton-Blairstown Center and The Fresh Air Fund lean on creativity, flexibility and self-reflection to help kids rise from the ashes of a pandemic7/26/2022 1:07:26 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides The Princeton-Blairstown Center and The Fresh Air Fund lean on 5251https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Pandemic Recovery Must Address Equity, Says U.S. Education Secretary44687GP0|#b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7;L0|#0b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​In a&#160;recent address, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona described&#160;the challenges that schools face in the coming years as they work to recover from the pandemic.&#160;“We have a daunting and important task ahead of us,” he said, as he introduced his&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.ed.gov/news/speeches/priorities-speech" target="_blank">priorities for education in America</a>, emphasizing the importance of the next few months for addressing the widening achievement gap. </p><p>Cardona highlighted the urgency of the moment and said it was necessary&#160;not only to&#160;bring the education system back to where it had been&#160;before the pandemic but to address the inequities that have plagued the system since long before the pandemic began.</p><p>“Many of the students who have been most underserved during the pandemic are the same ones who have had to deal with barriers to a high-quality education since well before COVID-19,” he said.&#160;Cardona made his remarks Jan. 27 during what the Department of Education described as a &quot;major address,&quot; at the department, to lay out his &quot;priorities for continued recovery through the pandemic and improving America’s education system more broadly.&quot;<br></p><p>Calling on state and district leaders to take a hard look at their resources and make difficult decisions, Cardona shared a number of key actions he believes should be prioritized for K-12 education&#58;</p><ol><li><em>Increased mental health supports.</em> Cardona called for improved access to mental health supports for students, including an increased hiring of mental health professionals. He urged districts to use <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx">Americ​an Rescue Plan</a> funding to hire more staffers and partner with organizations on this issue. He noted one school he visited where every student attended one learning period dedicated to social and emotional well-being or mental health and said he wanted to see that type of work in schools everywhere.<br><br></li><li><em>Academic supports to address unfinished learning.</em> Recognizing the impact that missed learning time has had on millions of students, Cardona urged districts to invest in targeted, intensive tutoring; afterschool programming; and summer learning efforts. “We cannot expect classroom teachers to do it all themselves,” he said.<br><br></li><li><em>Attention to students disproportionately affected by the pandemic. </em>Cardona urged listeners&#160;to avoid a return to pre-pandemic strategies that had failed to&#160;address inequities. Instead, he called for an increase in funding for Title 1 schools, as well as for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Free&#160;universal preschool and affordable childcare were also noted in his priorities for supporting underserved students and their families. As part of these efforts, he urged more “meaningful and authentic parent and family engagement,” recognizing the importance of including parents’ voices in the conversation about recovery.<br><br></li><li><em>Investment in teachers. </em>A livable wage, ongoing professional development and improved working conditions were among the key areas Cardona said could help&#160;ensure that&#160;teachers are “treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”</li></ol><p>The Wallace Foundation has shared&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/american-rescue-plan-act/pages/default.aspx">a number of​ resources</a> to help districts and states make decisions about how to spend American Rescue Plan Act funds in many of the areas outlined above, including social and emotional learning, summer learning and afterschool programming​. Additionally, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-the-role-of-principal-leadership.aspx">this brief</a> offers evidence-based considerations for school leaders on reopening and recovery planning. </p><p>“This is our moment to lift our students, our education system and our country to a level never before seen,” Cardona said. “Let’s get to work!”<br><br></p>Andrea Ruggirello1142022-02-15T05:00:00ZEducation Department priorities also include mental and academic supports for students and teacher retention strategies2/16/2022 2:00:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Pandemic Recovery Must Address Equity, Says U.S. Education Secretary Education Department priorities also include mental 1079https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Staffing is Top Concern for Afterschool Providers44623GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​Staffing shortages across the United States from healthcare to the airline&#160;industry have made headlines over the past few months. In fact, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in December, according to the Labor Department’s latest <a href="https&#58;//www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm" target="_blank">Job Openings and Labor Turnover </a> <a href="https&#58;//www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm">report</a>. Unfortunately, afterschool programs are no exception to this latest trend. </p><p>According to a <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/Afterschool-COVID-19-Wave-6-Brief.pdf" target="_blank">new survey</a> by the Afterschool Alliance, afterschool programs and providers say staffing is the most pressing challenge they’re currently facing. </p><p>The survey, conducted by Edge Research between November 1 and December 13, 2021, states the top two concerns among the 1,043 afterschool providers surveyed are finding staff to hire/staffing shortages&#160;and maintaining staff levels through health concerns and safety protocols. Eighty-seven percent of respondents say they are concerned about this, and more than half—51 percent—say that they are extremely concerned. These numbers&#160;are&#160;up 20 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in the spring of 2021.&#160; </p><p>“Combatting staff burnout is a priority for us,” one of the survey respondents said. “We&#160; are doing as much as we can to be supportive, both financially and by providing emotional support for staff. Keeping full-time staff engaged and encouraged has been a challenge. Keeping good part-time staff engaged and focused has proven even more difficult.”</p><p>Many of the providers surveyed connect the staffing challenges to their inability to serve more students, additional staff stress and burnout, and concerns about program costs. For instance, the survey found that 54 percent of programs that are physically open say that they have a waitlist, an increase from 37 percent in the spring 2021 survey. In addition, among respondents who report an increase in program costs, 83 percent say that staffing costs contributed to their program’s higher weekly cost-per-child.</p><p>To address the staffing issues, 71 percent of respondents report that their program has undertaken at least one course of action to attract and retain staff&#58;<br></p><ul><li>53 percent are increasing salaries<br> </li><li> 32 percent are providing additional professional development opportunities<br></li><li> 18 percent are offering free childcare for staff<br></li><li> 15 percent are offering sign-on bonuses<br></li><li> 10 percent are offering more paid time off<br></li><li> 5 percent are offering increased benefits </li></ul><p>On the plus side, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx">COVID relief dollars are able to help program providers</a> address their current issues with staffing. Among respondents who report that their program received new funding for fall 2021 programming, 47 percent say the new funding helped support staff recruitment efforts.</p><p>The Afterschool Alliance has also&#160;developed a <a href="https&#58;//docs.google.com/document/d/1RebwjpCkpiPP2SU2yksrHQJ8rm1gTRCOgUoBu5aTroc/edit" target="_blank">staff recruitment toolkit</a> to help providers recruit staff for afterschool programs.<br></p><p><em>Photo credit&#58; Photographer Webber J. Charles, Breakthrough Miami</em> <br> </p>Wallace editorial team792022-02-03T05:00:00ZNew survey findings provide stark picture of staffing shortages in afterschool programs and how this is affecting children3/3/2022 3:40:44 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Staffing is Top Concern for Afterschool Providers New survey findings provide stark picture of staffing shortages in 553https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Why Afterschool Programs Need Social and Emotional Learning Now44001GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, educators around the country are seeing an increasing need to support young people who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, fear, trauma, food insecurity or even homelessness. And nearly two-thirds of parents feel that their children’s social and emotional development has been affected by the pandemic, according to research from the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. </p><p>Social and emotional learning (SEL) strategies can support young people as they cope with and recover from the pandemic, but the classroom is not the only setting to engage students on SEL. Afterschool and summer learning programs also can provide unique opportunities to help young people develop their social and emotional skills, behaviors and beliefs, which can help kids manage the challenges they have faced over the past two years. </p><p>A recent <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dLOrY6w41Y">webinar</a> jointly hosted by The Afterschool Alliance, Every Hour Counts and the Forum for Youth Investment explores how afterschool programs around the country have employed SEL strategies to help kids focus their thinking, manage their behavior and understand and deal with feelings, particularly as they continue to face the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. </p><p>The webinar featured EASEL’s Dr. Stephanie Jones, lead author of the recently published update to the popular SEL guide, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx">Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out </a>, along with Cheryl Hollis, chief program officer of Wings for Kids, one of the 33 SEL programs featured in the guide. </p><p>The more than 550-page guide is designed as a practical resource for teachers and out of school time practitioners, with a new focus on equitable and trauma-informed SEL. Since its original rendition, the guide has emphasized the role that afterschool and summer learning providers can play in helping young people build their social and emotional skills, incorporating worksheets to help providers adapt SEL strategies to meet their program needs. </p><p>But what is SEL? According to Jones, SEL is primarily concerned with “building and holding positive relationships, establishing trust and comfort, (building) feelings of safety and belonging and having positive relationships with others.” <br> Effective SEL approaches can accelerate gains in academic learning, Jones said, and four elements define effective SEL in practice. </p><ol><li>Adults model behaviors themselves, and consequently need to be able to access their own social and emotional support.<br><br> </li><li>Children and youth should be taught skills directly.<br><br> </li><li>Students are given opportunities to practice their skills, providing them with teachable moments for both individuals and groups. <br><br></li><li>Guaranteeing that students and staff share a common “SEL language,” providing a framework to use SEL strategies in daily life. </li></ol><p>The Wings for Kids program has 10 SEL objectives that shape 30 SEL lessons that take place during small group discussions. In presenting the organization’s SEL strategies, Hollis said it centers the importance of its community in the program—which sets the tone and makes learning social and emotional lessons fun. Children attending Wings recite “words to live by” daily, positive affirmations said as a kind of “SEL pledge;” students and adults share “heys and praise” to highlight their peers’ positive impacts on the community; and students are encouraged to use words describing emotions to share positive news with peers.&#160; “Heys and praise is a very visible way to spread good vibes and energy,” Hollis said. </p><p>“Giving students regular opportunities to build speaking and listening skills and foster strong teacher-student and student-student relationships is a practical way to incorporate SEL into afterschool programs,” said Hollis. And it’s not just the students who develop their SEL skills at Wings. She added&#58; “Adult staffers receive support and training to model social and emotional skills for children and are encouraged to offer constructive feedback to other staff members on an ongoing basis.” </p><p>Programs like Wings are effective for two primary reasons, Jones said&#58; they establish safe and caring learning environments and teach students social-emotional skills in ways that engage students. For both to work, programs must foster connected, supportive and reciprocal relationships between students and staff. </p><p>As SEL research and practice continues to grow, Jones reflected on the future of the field. SEL will benefit from a clear focus, she said, and focusing on new approaches that are targeted, flexible, portable and engaging. SEL in practice should be geographically and culturally appropriate and simplifying and localizing strategies will allow practitioners to be more effective and equitable. Employing SEL strategies in a range of settings, from the classroom to afterschool programs, is critical for providing young people with the tools they need to thrive during and beyond COVID-19.&#160; Wings for Kids is clearly groundbreaking in its approach and a model for afterschool programs to look to.&#160; <br><br></p>Wallace editorial team792022-01-19T05:00:00ZRecent discussion highlights how afterschool programs have used SEL strategies to help children throughout the pandemic1/19/2022 3:15:52 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Why Afterschool Programs Need Social and Emotional Learning Now Recent discussion highlights how afterschool programs have 1345https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Wallace’s Top 10 Stories Say about Trends in Education and the Arts18219GP0|#b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7;L0|#0b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​December is a great time to look back and reflect on the year’s work, both to get a sense of what we’re learning—and what is resonating with you, dear reader. The more than 40 posts we published in 2021 on The Wallace Blog&#160; explore a variety of hot topics for our audience, such as why principals <em>really</em> matter; why arts organizations of color are often overlooked and underfunded; and why young people need access to high-quality afterschool programs and arts education programs now more than ever. Just to name a few. </p><p>Moreover, the stories in our Top 10 List this year (measured by number of page views) give a good sense of the breadth of the&#160;​research and projects currently under way at Wallace. They also highlight some of the people involved and their unique perspectives on the work. We hope you enjoy reading (or revisiting) some of the posts now. </p><p><strong>10. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/more-kids-than-ever-are-missing-out-on-afterschool-programs.aspx"><strong>Why Are So Many Kids Missing Out on Afterschool?</strong></a><strong> </strong>A <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/america-after-3pm-demand-grows-opportunity-shrinks.aspx">study </a>released earlier this year by the Afterschool Alliance identifies trends in afterschool program offerings well as overall parent perceptions of afterschool programs. In this post, we interview Jennifer Rinehart, senior VP, strategy &amp;&#160;programs,&#160;at the Afterschool Alliance, to discuss the implications of the study, which was based on a large survey of families,​&#160;and what they might mean for a post-pandemic world.<br></p><p><strong>9. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/what-can-we-learn-from-high-performing-arts-organizations-of-color.aspx"><strong>What Can We Learn from High-Performing Arts Organizations of Color?</strong></a><strong> </strong>The <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/reimagining-the-future-of-the-arts-a-webinar-series-from-the-wallace-foundation-session-5.aspx">fifth conversation</a> in our Reimagining the Future of the Arts series examines what leaders of arts organizations with deep roots in communities of color see as the keys to their success, as well as what they have learned while navigating crises. Read highlights of the conversation between leaders from SMU Data Arts, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Chicago Sinfonietta and Theater Mu in this blog post.</p><p><strong>8. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/decade-long-effort-to-expand-arts-education-in-boston-pays-off.aspx"><strong>Decade-long Effort to Expand Arts Education in Boston Pays Off</strong></a><strong> </strong>A longitudinal <a href="https&#58;//www.edvestors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/The-Arts-Advantage-Impacts-of-Arts-Education-on-Boston-Students_Brief-FINAL.pdf">study </a>released this year&#160;found that arts education can positively affect​&#160;student engagement, attendance rates and parent engagement with schools. Read more about the findings and about Boston Public Schools' successful systems approach to arts learning, including insights from a researcher, a district leader and the president and CEO of EdVestors, a school improvement nonprofit in Boston. </p><p><strong>7. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/how-can-teachers-support-students-social-and-emotional-learning.aspx"><strong>How Can Teachers Support Students’ Social and Emotional Learning?</strong></a><strong> </strong>Concern about student well-being has been at the forefront of many conversations this year as schools have reopened, so it comes as little&#160;surprise that this post made our list. Here, RAND researchers Laura Hamilton and Christopher Doss speak with us about their <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/supports-social-and-emotional-learning-american-schools-classrooms.aspx">study,</a> which found that while teachers felt confident in their ability to improve students’ social and emotional skills, they said they needed more supports, tools and professional development in this area, especially these days. </p><p><strong>6. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/how-do-arts-organizations-of-color-sustain-their-relevance-and-resilience.aspx"><strong>$53 Million Initiative Offers Much-Needed Support for Arts Organizations of Color</strong></a> In this post, Wallace’s director of the arts, Bahia Ramos, introduces our new initiative focused on arts organizations of color, which historically “have been underfunded and often overlooked, despite their rich histories, high-quality work and deep roots in their communities.” The&#160;effort will&#160;involve&#160;work with a variety of organizations to explore this paradox and much more. </p><p><strong>5. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/five-lessons-in-problem-solving-for-school-leaders.aspx"><strong>Five Lessons in Problem Solving for School Leaders</strong></a><strong> </strong>This post by Rochelle Herring, one of Wallace’s senior program officers in school leadership, gives an inside look at how California’s Long Beach school district transformed its learning and improvement at every level of the system. It also offers lessons that practitioners in other districts can apply to their own context.&#160; </p><p><strong>4. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx"><strong>American Rescue Plan&#58; Five Things State and District Leaders Need to Know Now</strong></a><strong> </strong>EducationCounsel, a mission-based education organization and law firm, analyzed the text of the&#160;American Rescue Plan Act, which provides more than $126 billion for K-12 schools and additional funding for early childhood and higher education. In this post, EducationCounsel’s Sean Worley and Scott Palmer examine this historic level of federal&#160; funding for public school education and offer guidance that states and districts might consider when seeking Rescue Plan dollars.&#160; </p><p><strong>3. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/why-young-people-need-access-to-high-quality-arts-education.aspx"><strong>Why Young People Need Access to High-Quality Arts Education</strong></a> Studies confirm that&#160; sustained engagement with the arts—and, especially, with​​ making art—can help young people gain new perspectives, deepen empathy, picture what is possible, collaborate and even fuel civic engagement. In short, all children deserve access to high-quality arts education, writes Wallace’s director of arts, Bahia Ramos, who was initially approached to draft a shorter version of this piece for <em>Time </em>magazine’s <a href="https&#58;//time.com/collection/visions-of-equity/6046015/equity-agenda/">Visions of Equity </a>project. </p><p><strong>2. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/districts-that-succeed-what-are-they-doing-right.aspx"><strong>Districts That Succeed&#58; What Are They Doing Right?</strong></a> In her new book, Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence at The Education Trust,uses new research on district performance as well as in-depth reporting to profile five districts that have successfully broken the correlation between race, poverty and achievement. We spoke with Chenoweth about what she learned from her research and what she hopes readers will take away from the book.</p><p><strong>1. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/yes-principals-are-that-important.aspx"><strong>Yes, Principals Are That Important</strong></a><strong> </strong>It seems that many&#160;of our readers found the headline to this blog post worthy of their attention,&#160;considering that the item is&#160;in the number one spot on our list this year. Here, education experts weigh in on findings from <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-principals-affect-students-and-schools-a-systematic-synthesis-of-two-decades-of-research.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> released earlier in the year on the impact an effective principal can have on both students and schools—and the implications for policy and practice. </p><br>Jenna Doleh912021-12-07T05:00:00ZA look back at your favorite reads this year—from supporting students’ well-being during COVID-19 to learning from arts organizations of color12/6/2021 8:52:46 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Wallace’s Top 10 Stories Say about Trends in Education and the Arts A look back at your favorite reads this year—from 737https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Creating a “Web of Support” for Children2721GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​​What value do parents, teachers and out-of-school-time (OST) staff place on OST programs? And what role do these programs play in young people’s learning and development beyond simply filling in the time when children are not in school?&#160; <br></p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Creating-a-Web-of-Support-for-Children/PARK_5088copy.jpg" alt="PARK_5088copy.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;160px;height&#58;213px;" />Recently released <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/out-of-school-time-programs-this-summer.aspx">research</a> from Learning Heroes—a national organization that seeks to inform parents and equip the​m with the means to best support their children’s academic and developmental success—delves into these questions and much more. We spoke to David Park, senior vice president for communications and strategy at Learning Heroes, to find out more about the research and a playbook for the field that the organization developed based on the findings. </p><p><strong>The Wallace Foundation&#58; Why did Learning Heroes conduct this research?</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>​David Park&#58; </strong>We know that learning happens everywhere—in the classroom for sure, but also at home and in the community. And wherever learning takes place, it’s important that it’s connected, and that families can team up not only with their child’s teacher but with out-of-school-time providers as well. It’s also critical that schools and OST providers are connected in service of a child’s learning and development. We like to think of this as a web of support. </p><p>By listening to parents, teachers and OST providers, we can better understand how these audiences perceive the role of OST programs in children’s social, emotional and academic development and ultimately strengthen this web of support through enhanced communications, programs and policies. </p><p><strong>WF&#58; Can you give an overview of your survey findings? What are some of the key conclusions from your research?&#160;</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>DP&#58;</strong> The survey found that parents, teachers and providers all view OST programs as offering a child-centered experience that is highly valuable and differentiated from classroom learning. We see this in the reasons parents say they enroll their child in these programs&#58; to expose them to new ideas, experiences and perspectives, and help them find their passion, purpose and voice. Practitioners can use this information to help shape their programs and communicate about them in a way that resonates with families. </p><p>We also found that while there is tremendous demand for OST programs, participation in high-quality opportunities is not always equitably distributed, primarily due to considerations including cost, transportation and time. We believe district administrators can use this research, particularly data on the value parents see in OST programs, to address issues of access and secure funding for high-quality programs that reach all families. </p><p>While there are many more interesting findings and insights, one thing I thought was particularly compelling is the language parents use to describe OST programs. An example is the term I’m using now—“out-of-school-time” or “OST”. While we use this term in the field, parents are&#160;unfamiliar with it, and certainly don’t use it to describe the programs their children are engaged in. “Extracurricular” is the term parents use most often. </p><p><strong>WF&#58; What survey answers surprised you the most?&#160;</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>DP&#58;</strong> There were several surprises. One thing that stood out to me was how valuable educators found OST programs. More than 7 in 10 teachers (72 percent) agreed that these programs exposed children to new experiences, ideas and perspectives beyond their everyday home and school lives, and nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) agreed these programs motivated children to get excited about learning, even those who aren’t doing particularly well in school.&#160; </p><p>Given educators’ views on OST programs, coupled with the fact that families often get information about OST programs from schools, program providers may want to consider connecting with teachers to help promote the value of OST programs. </p><p><strong>WF&#58; Can you describe some of the afterschool activities included in the survey?&#160; And how do parents&#160;assess quality?</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>DP&#58;</strong> The survey found that 65 percent of parents have children in an OST program, enrolling their children in an average of&#160;two programs per family. The most popular category is Sports/Arts/Interest, followed by School/Academic, Youth Development and Opportunity Centered. As parents assess quality, they look at indicators including their child’s happiness (83 percent), their child gaining confidence (79 percent) and their child developing social and emotional skills (77 percent). </p><p><strong>WF&#58; How did the Covid 19 pandemic affect your research?&#160; During lockdown, what were parents’ main concerns for their children?</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>DP&#58;</strong> As we all know, the pandemic took a huge toll on families. The survey was fielded a year into the pandemic (in February/March 2021), and perhaps not surprising, children missing out on social connections and friendships topped the list of parent concerns, followed by kids having too much screen time, and losing motivation and interest to learn (which was particularly concerning to African American parents). </p><p><strong>WF&#58; Learning Heroes has produced a </strong><strong>playbook for OST providers, teachers and others, based on the survey results.&#160; Why do you think the playbook is needed?</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>DP&#58;</strong> We always try to make our research as actionable as possible, and that’s why we created the <a href="http&#58;//www.bealearninghero.org/OST-research">p</a><a href="http&#58;//www.bealearninghero.org/OST-research" target="_blank">laybook</a>. It can help educators, providers and advocates communicate the value of OST programs, inform the design of high-quality programs and shape policies that make these opportunities equitably accessible to all children. The playbook provides several specific ways the research can be used and includes tools and resources such as the research deck, a messaging guidance document, an animated video, social media infographics and more. </p><p><strong>WF&#58; Do you think this research and </strong><strong>playbook will help make the case for more funding for OST programs?&#160;</strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>DP&#58;</strong> The research clearly highlights the value of OST programs, and underscores the need for families, schools and OST programs to partner in support of children’s learning and development. With ESSER [the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which is part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act] funding available, we believe there is a unique opportunity to secure resources for ongoing partnerships between schools and OST providers and more equitable access to high-quality programs. </p>Wallace editorial team792021-11-22T05:00:00ZHow parents, teachers and program leaders view the time kids spend outside the classroom—and why this matters11/22/2021 12:11:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Creating a “Web of Support” for Children How parents, teachers and program leaders view the time kids spend outside the 1100https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Libraries Can Partner with Communities for Summer Learning Success14175GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​By providing free and accessible summer learning activities and reading materials, <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/blog/reimagining-summer-learning-during-the-pandemic" target="_blank">even during the pandemic</a>, public libraries have a unique role in the summer learning landscape. Libraries are one of the most trusted institutions in the communities they serve, <a href="https&#58;//www.nextlibraries.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/PI_2017.09.11_FactsAndInfo_1-02.png" target="_blank">according to Pew research</a>. They are also one of the widest-reaching—there are <a href="https&#58;//www.imls.gov/news/imls-releases-new-data-american-public-libraries" target="_blank">more U.S. library branches</a> than <a href="https&#58;//www.scrapehero.com/location-reports/Starbucks-USA/" target="_blank">Starbucks locations</a>, and visiting the library is the <a href="https&#58;//news.gallup.com/poll/284009/library-visits-outpaced-trips-movies-2019.aspx" target="_blank">most common cultural activity</a> for Americans, having outpaced visits to movies or sporting events by a wide margin in the pre-pandemic world. </p><div> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-libraries-can-partner-with-communities-for-summer-learning-success/Liz_headshot.jpg" alt="Liz_headshot.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;width&#58;220px;" /> <span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"></span></div><div>In fact, public libraries have been providing learning materials and opportunities to youth in the summertime for over a century. This began with the distribution of Victorian-era reading lists designed to keep youth on the moral path. Today, the efforts of libraries, and their partners, have become more joyous&#58; making available beautiful, culturally appropriate books and other resources to support young people in myriad ways, from letting them indulge in the simple pleasure of reading to helping them develop 21st century learning skills.</div><div> <br> </div><div>For over half a decade, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has taken a leading role in catalyzing the evolution of public libraries as essential hubs and partners for summer learning. ULC is a think and action tank of leading North American public libraries with a primary focus on advancing more positive outcomes for all youth by dismantling barriers they face, providing them with high-quality learning opportunities and strengthening local partnerships between libraries and other educational institutions.</div><div> <br> </div><div>ULC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/the-leaders-library-card-challenge/participating-libraries" target="_blank">Leaders Library Card Challenge</a>—which started as an Obama Administration initiative—has equipped more than 4 million K-12 students with library cards, an achievement made possible by partnerships forged between libraries, local schools and mayors and county executives. ULC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/stem-middle-school" target="_blank">Partners for Middle School STEM</a> initiative aligns libraries, local governments, schools and businesses to increase high-quality STEM learning opportunities for middle grade youth from low-income families—positioning the library as a critical partner in fixing the “leaky” STEM pipeline.</div><p> <br>ULC’s focus on building partnerships to strengthen summer learning started in 2016, when we published the <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/assets/Leadership_Brief_Expanding_Summer.pdf" target="_blank"> <em>Libraries Expanding Summer Opportunities</em></a>&#160;leadership brief in collaboration with the National Summer Learning Association, the pre-eminent authority on summer learning in the United States. That pivotal document has directly helped to shape the ways that libraries think and go about their work to support youth during the summer—shifting from a focus on “summer reading” to “<a href="https&#58;//journals.ala.org/index.php/cal/article/view/7200/9831" target="_blank">summer learning</a>,” intentionally addressing a wide range of academic and developmental challenges.</p><p>Driving that shift is a growing recognition of the importance of summer learning for improving the lives of all youth, and the unique role that libraries can play in supporting those opportunities. Over the past two summers, the devastating impact of COVID-19 has made it more important than ever for communities to leverage the unique capacity of libraries as partners for addressing learning loss.</p><p> <strong>Combating opportunity &amp; achievement gaps</strong></p><p>Even before COVID-19, much research had been compiled about the widening of achievement and opportunity gaps between students from low-income families and their peers from higher-income families during the summer months. Emerging post-pandemic data now also reveals profound inequities for children who have been historically excluded, including Black, Hispanic and Indigenous youth. Research from McKinsey &amp; Associates reported in <a href="https&#58;//www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-learning-loss-disparities-grow-and-students-need-help" target="_blank">Mind the Gap</a> shows the disparities in access and educational equity which have created barriers to learning. &#160;</p><p>The good news is that high-quality summer learning can make a real difference for children, as&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx">research</a> clearly shows. The National Academy of Sciences, too, recently released a <a href="https&#58;//www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/summertime-experiences-and-child-and-adolescent-education-health-and-safety" target="_blank">study</a>, which analyzes availability, accessibility, equity and effectiveness of summer learning experiences in conjunction with overall health, social-emotional and safety outcomes for youth.<br><br><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-libraries-can-partner-with-communities-for-summer-learning-success/Active_Learning_NOT4.jpg" alt="Active_Learning_NOT4.jpg" />​​<br><br>While <a href="https&#58;//www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2021/04/29/covid-19-the-educational-equity-crisis-and-the-opportunity-ahead/" target="_blank">learning loss research</a> underscores the importance of helping youth in Kindergarten through third grade recover or level-up reading and math skills, the further good news is that public libraries across the country are offering reading and learning programs targeted to these ages during critical out-of-school time periods, including summer. Early math, social-emotional learning and play-based programming are also part of these efforts.</p><p>Complementing these programs are workshops for parents and caregivers, offering them meaningful time to reflect on learning. Additionally, understanding that we must reduce barriers to youth learning, thousands of public libraries that serve young people living in poverty now tap federal food programs to offer <a href="https&#58;//www.cslpreads.org/libraries-and-summer-food/" target="_blank">meals</a> and afterschool snacks.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p>In the words of Brian Bannon, Merryl and James Tisch Director for Branch Libraries and Education at the New York Public Library, “Summer is a time of immense inequities for America’s youth. The public library is uniquely poised to reach children with high-quality books, STEM and active learning activities that I have personally seen … [improve] anticipated outcomes for our youth.” </p><p>Programs such as the New York Public Library’s <a href="https&#58;//www.nypl.org/summer/book-kits" target="_blank">book and activity give-away</a>—which provides children and teens with totes or colorful drawstring bags filled with age-appropriate books and other goodies—&#160;show how libraries continue to innovate to reach children during COVID-19 and Summer 2021. For another great example, look to <a href="https&#58;//www.cantonrep.com/story/news/2021/07/12/heart-stark-stark-county-district-library-offers-summer-fun-school/7908675002/" target="_blank">The Stark District Library</a> in Canton, Ohio, which is working with a local elementary school to provide learning activities for over 2,000 rising kindergarteners through third graders with targeted learning interventions, book ownership and meals. </p><p> <strong>Partnering for greater equity</strong></p><p>All education institutions—and libraries are no exception—confront systemic barriers that limit opportunity, particularly for those from traditionally marginalized populations or who are living in low-income households. One obstacle facing many children and their caregivers is lack of access to the reliable transportation needed to visit library buildings and other institutions in person. A related&#160;barrier, hindering both reaching and engaging youth, is inadequate digital access. <a href="https&#58;//www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/06/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-americans-with-lower-incomes-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/" target="_blank">Pew research suggests</a> that “35% of lower-income households with school-age children [do] not have a broadband internet connection at home.” </p><p>By convening and strengthening partnerships with summer and out-of-school program providers, libraries can help bring literacy and learning programs to children and families who would not otherwise have access. Relationships with park districts enable libraries to provide literacy and other educational opportunities to campers and youth living in areas where they may not otherwise have access to learning resources. Our ability to share program materials makes us a strong ally of community camps and other summer programs. And, critically, our relationships with schools allow us to align summer learning activities to school priorities. </p><p>In addition, public libraries develop partnerships with cultural institutions and with organizations across the nation to promote more equitable outcomes for young people and ensure our program content is culturally appropriate and healing. The <a href="https&#58;//sfpl.org/events/special-programs" target="_blank">Summer S​tride</a> program at the San Francisco Public Library, for example, involves a partnership with the local Human Rights Commission to develop deeper connections to communities where youth have been historically excluded from high-quality summer programming access. As another example, <a href="https&#58;//www.crlibrary.org/" target="_blank">Cedar Rapids Public Library</a> forged a partnership with Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation’s Rollin’ Recmobile to offer unique tech learning opportunities at four parks per week throughout the summer, providing youth with access to e-readers, laptops, robotics and more.</p><p>The Urban Libraries Council continues to find ways to support the essential role of libraries in the&#160;&#160;education ecosystem. Over the past year and half, ULC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/" target="_blank">Partnering with Schools</a> action team has been researching and working on tools to help libraries across the nation rethink and recommit to partnerships with their local school districts, including aligning library work to efforts to help children and teens accelerate their learning after the instructional losses caused by the pandemic. In June, the Urban Libraries Council supported the development of the National Summer Learning Association’s <a href="https&#58;//discoversummer.inplay.org/" target="_blank">Discover Summer</a> web app, which is designed to help families nationwide locate accessible summer learning opportunities in their local communities, including public library programming.</p><p>“Public libraries are uniquely positioned to help all kids rise and close … [education] gaps,” said the National Summer Learning Association’s president and CEO, Aaron Dworkin. “It’s going to take the enormous energy and heart of us all, working together to make a meaningful difference.” Luckily, many tools and models to activate these opportunities already exist. The Wallace Foundation has given out-of-school and summer providers a <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">toolkit</a> to develop vigorous summer learning programs that help build equity and develop strong outcomes. Libraries can play a critical partner role through each phase of this toolkit—from recruiting youth, strengthening academics and enrichment opportunities, offering safe and resource-rich learning sites, filling staffing gaps and supporting program planning. Together with libraries, summer learning program providers can drive deep, meaningful and equitable outcomes for youth that will last a lifetime.<br></p><p> <em>Photos courtesy of Urban Libraries Council and Chicago Public Library.</em><br></p>Elizabeth McChesney1172021-07-28T04:00:00ZPublic libraries have long been poised to help strengthen learning opportunities and equitable outcomes for youth9/27/2022 5:28:14 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Libraries Can Partner with Communities for Summer Learning Success Public libraries have long been poised to help 1603https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program9774GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​It’s been said thousands of times but bears repeating&#58; the summer of 2021 promises to be a most unusual one as schools, districts, nonprofits, parents and others roll up their sleeves to help counteract some of the learning losses of the pandemic—and simply bring children together again safely. Then again, what could be more normal than corralling a group of children in summer, whether to learn how to multiply fractions or swing a bat? <br></p><p>As Summer Learning Week begins, we’ve pulled together an unofficial list of Wallace’s Top 5 Summer Learning Publications. A majority of the research stems from the experiences of five urban school districts and their partners who formed Wallace’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/summer-learning.aspx">National Summer Learning Project</a> (NSLP) from 2011 through 2016. While the most current findings and popular tools headline the list, there is much more to be discovered in the <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning section</a> of Wallace’s Knowledge Center, all of which can be easily downloaded free of charge.<br> <br> </p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;286px;" /></a> <span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"></span> <div><strong>1.</strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">The </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">First Stop for Summer Learning Practitioners</a>&#160;</div><p>Based on the RAND Corporation’s evaluations from the NSLP, <em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed </em>addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations around such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. For example, do you know the recommended month to begin planning a summer program? (If you guessed January, gold star.) Many more specific recommendations and guidance await your perusal. <br><br></p> ​ <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" alt="Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;287px;" /></a><strong>2.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx">Running a High-Quality Program Shows Meaningful Results</a><br> <em>Every Summer Counts&#58; A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project </em>also stems from RAND and the NSLP and finds both short-term and long-term benefits among students who consistently attended voluntary five- to six-week summer learning programs. The largest and longest study of its kind, the research confirms previous studies finding that after the first summer high-attenders outperformed control group members in math, and after the second summer, high-attenders saw advantages in math, language arts and social-emotional skills. This report shows that even three years after the second summer, while academic benefits had decreased in magnitude and were not statistically significant, they remained educationally meaningful. All of this suggests that summer programs can be an important component in how school districts support learning and skill development, particularly for children from low-income families who may face widening achievement and opportunity gaps in any summer, let alone this one post-COVID.<div><br><p></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" alt="toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;200px;" /></a><strong>3.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">A Hands-On How-To Guide for High-Quality Summer Learning</a><br> This online resource hub houses more than 50 evidence-based tools, templates and resources used successfully by NSLP’s districts and their partners. Additional resources created by field experts round out the offerings, all of which are aligned to RAND’s key research findings and contain guidance for how to use them. Each section of the toolkit includes a timeline for when you should start thinking about the various components of planning and design. Maybe you’re late to the toolkit for this summer, but fear not, you can begin many of the pre-planning and logistical steps for next summer this fall. <br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" alt="Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;113px;" /></a><strong>4.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx">What Parents Want from Out-of-School Programs This Summer</a><br> For this recently released study, Edge Research and Learning Heroes surveyed parents of K-8th grade children, out-of-school-time (OST) professionals, field leaders and others to explore the unique role OST programs play in youth development compared with home and school as well as the impact of COVID-19 for this summer and beyond. Among the many nuggets, the researchers found that parents were indeed concerned about the impact of the pandemic, with many expressing fears that their children were struggling academically, socially and emotionally. Overall parents identified three priorities for what they’d like to see summer programming address for their children&#58; their social and emotional health, providing them with physical outdoor activities and helping them discover their passion and purpose. ​​<br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" alt="Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;278px;" />​</a><strong>5.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx">Federal Funds Are Now Available for Summer Learning</a><br> Complementing parents’ concern for their children’s academic, social and emotional well-being, the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of the pandemic, including addressing learning loss. In <em>Evidence-based Considerations for COVID-19 Reopening and Recovery Planning&#58; Summer Learning with Academic and Non-Academic Activities, </em>Wallace has distilled evidence from our summer-learning work that may be helpful in informing choices about how to spend those funds, as well as how to implement key strategies. The paper includes an annotated bibliography with links to resources and tools (more than we could fit in this Top 5 list, so it’s a bonus!). ​<br><br></p></div>Wallace editorial team792021-07-09T04:00:00ZEverything from planning district-wide summer programs to maximizing resources available under the American Rescue Plan Act—and Wallace’s popular summer learning toolkit7/9/2021 1:56:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / 5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program Everything from planning district-wide summer programs to 747https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Study Finds Cost a Key Barrier to Summer Programs for Youth9939GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​As the summer of 2021 begins, many students and families are struggling to recover from the isolation, disruption and instructional loss of the pandemic. Summer programs could help. But according to a recent study that looks in-depth at summer learning in 2019 and 2020, student participation in programs remains low, despite some recent growth and soaring parent satisfaction. For every child in a summer learning program in 2019, another was waiting to get in, according to a recently released report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/america-after-3pm-time-for-a-game-changing-summer-with-opportunity-and-growth-for-all-of-americas-youth.aspx">Time for a Game-Changing Summer, With Opportunity and Growth for All of America’s Youth</a><u>.</u></p><p>Commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance and conducted by Edge Research, the study is based on responses from more than 29,500 U.S. families and builds on household surveys conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2014. It also includes national findings from smaller surveys of parents and program providers conducted in summer and fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, and offers a snapshot of how children and youth spent their summers before and during the pandemic.</p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Study-Finds-Cost-a-Key-Barrier-to-Summer-Programs-for-Youth/NikkiYamashiro-crop.jpg" alt="NikkiYamashiro-crop.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;183px;height&#58;222px;" />The Wallace Blog caught up Nikki Yamashiro, vice president of research at the Afterschool Alliance, to discuss the implic​ations of the survey and what they might mean for a post-pandemic world. </p><p><strong>In the summer of 2019, participation in summer programming was at the highest level ever recorded by </strong><strong>America After 3PM, but the demand is far from being met. Can you talk more about this? </strong></p><p>This is a great place to start—these are two of the key findings from our report. It’s true, <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/AA3PM-2020/AA3PM-Time-for-a-Game-Changing-Summer-2021-Executive-Summary.pdf">we found that between 2008 and 2019, participation in summer programs was on the rise</a>, but despite this increase, for every child in a summer program in 2019, there was another who would have been enrolled if a program were available. Similar to what we found regarding unmet demand for afterschool programs in our America After 3PM report, “<a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/AA3PM-2020/AA3PM-National-Report.pdf">Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks</a>,” the number of children who are missing out on the opportunities that summer programs offer is immense. Overall, 13.9 million children, nearly 1 in 3 not in a program during the 2019 summer, would have been enrolled in one. </p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Study-Finds-Cost-a-Key-Barrier-to-Summer-Programs-for-Youth/AA3PM-Summer-Participation.png" alt="AA3PM-Summer-Participation.png" style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p>What this tells us is that not only is there a tremendous demand for summer programs in the U.S., there is an overwhelming need for increased access to affordable summer programming in the U.S. When we take a look at who’s participating in programs, we found that higher income children are nearly three times more likely to participate in a structured summer experience than children from lower income families.</p><p><strong>Why are kids from families with low incomes missing out on summer programs? What barriers are they facing and what kind of support/funding can help?</strong><br></p><p>To sum it up in one word, cost. The cost of summer programs is by far the largest hurdle for families with low incomes. Our study found that more than two in five parents with low incomes who didn’t have a child in a summer program (44 percent) report that cost was an important reason why they chose not to enroll their child, nearly 10 percentage points above that of higher income households (35 percent). Transportation and not knowing what programs were available are also notable barriers, with more than one in five parents with low incomes reporting these as a factors keeping their child out of a summer program. </p><p>Unfortunately, this disparity of who can and who can’t afford programs isn’t exclusive to the summer—we found that families in the highest income bracket spend more than five times as much on out-of-school-time activities for one child annually than families in the lowest income bracket.</p><p>A bright spot is the infusion of funding through the American Rescue Plan to state and local education agencies that is being used to support summer enrichment, comprehensive afterschool and learning recovery programs. Through this investment in summer, as well as in afterschool programs, our hope is that more children and families will be able to connect to programs in their community. </p><p><strong>How have parents’ priorities when it comes to summer programs changed since COVID-19? What is the impact of the pandemic on future demand?</strong></p><p>This most likely isn’t a surprise to parents who are reading this, but for families who wanted a structured summer experience for their children, we didn’t find a significant shift in the leading factors parents said were most important to them in 2019 and what was most important to them in 2020. Outside of safety and cleaning precautions against COVID-19, which were new priorities for parents in 2020, the key drivers behind parents choosing their child’s summer activity, both before and during the pandemic, were a safe environment, knowledgeable and caring staff, and opportunities to build social skills. &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</p><p>A <a href="https&#58;//mercuryllc.app.box.com/s/wse3fs55ll635j7oi92gsv3a0uyw6uwz/file/817680950770">recent survey of parents</a> asking about plans for this summer found that most families are prioritizing outdoor, physical, social, and/or non-traditional enrichment programs (62 percent). </p><p><strong>According to the survey, 79</strong><strong> percent</strong><strong> of summer programs plan to offer in-person and/or virtual activities for kids this year. What are some of the new challenges the providers face this summer due to COVID-19?</strong></p><p>That’s an excellent question. We have a survey in the field right now to ask summer program providers exactly that. The purpose of the survey is to gain an understanding of the supports and services they’re providing this summer and the challenges they’re encountering in this second summer of the pandemic. Based on anecdotal stories from the field about plans for this summer and what we found in <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/Afterschool-COVID-19-Wave-2-Brief.pdf">last year’s summer provider survey</a> and a <a href="https&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/covid/Ongoing-Look-at-Afterschool-in-the-Time-of-COVID-19.cfm">recent spring 2021 provider survey</a>, we anticipate that staffing issues will continue to be a challenge, specifically hiring enough staff for in-person programming and the programs’ capacity to provide in-person services to every young person who would like to attend. Together with the recent survey of parents mentioned earlier, where more than 3 in 5 parents report that they feel comfortable sending their child to in-person summer experiences (63 percent), signs point to an increased demand for summer programs compared to the summer of 2020, but only time will tell. We’re looking forward to reporting back what we uncover. </p><p><strong>What would you like policymakers to take away from this survey?</strong></p><p>It’s my view that the findings from the survey all boil down to one fundamental premise—to meet the need for summer programming among families, in particular families with low incomes, greater investment in summer learning is critical. We found that parents value the time during the summers for their children to discover new interests, build connections, and be active and outdoors. Parents have increasingly wanted more structured summer opportunities for their children. And, during the pandemic, families counted on summer programs for supports ranging from helping their child stay connected to their peers to connecting families with community resources. Yet for many children and families, summer programs are out of reach. Taken together, these findings paint a picture of the importance of more opportunities for summer learning. With nearly 14 million children who would be enrolled in a summer program if one were available to them, the need for additional investment in summer programs to make certain that all children are able to access quality, affordable summer learning opportunities is undeniable.</p>Jenna Doleh912021-06-23T04:00:00ZDespite high demand, especially with the pandemic, summer programs are still out of reach for too many children.6/23/2021 5:00:25 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Study Finds Cost a Key Barrier to Summer Programs for Youth Despite high demand, especially with the pandemic, summer 1206https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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