Summer Learning Summit Exposes Key Findings

April 06, 2009

Contact: Erin Brownfield
Senior Communications Officer
The Wallace Foundation
(212) 251-9861

No Time to Waste!

New Orleans, LA (4/6/09) -- The Afterschool Partnership of Greater New Orleans and The Wallace Foundation, headquartered in New York, held a “Summer Learning Summit: Strengthening Out-of-School Learning Outcomes” today to explore the latest research related to learning issues during out-of-the-classroom hours for youth.

According to studies by the National Center for Summer Learning (NCSL) at Johns Hopkins University, we can no longer consider summer learning as optional or disposable. This is an outdated premise because: 

  • All young people experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer
  • Most kids lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math skills over the summer months
  • Lower income students tend to also lose two months grade level equivalency in reading skills as well
  • Losses over multiple summers accrue, thus widening the achievement gap as time goes on
  • Summer learning can make a difference in those who finish high school, go to college bound and those who do not
  • Children gain weight three times faster during the summer months
  • Only 1 in 5 children nationally who received free or reduced meals during the school year do so during the summer

“The need to promote summer learning in a meaningful way is apparent, especially in the Greater New Orleans area where families are struggling with serious recovery and rebuilding concerns,” says Gina Warner, executive director for the Afterschool Partnership. “We are grateful to have alliances with significant funders such as The Wallace Foundation who has shown a steadfast commitment to quality youth programs in this city,” adds Warner.
The Wallace Foundation’s “Summer Learning Initiatives Grants” were announced at the Summer Learning Summit and $650,000 was awarded to: Catholic Charities, Desire Street Ministries, the Jefferson Youth Foundation, Kedila Family Learning Center, Kingsley House, New Orleans Outreach, New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Urban League, Volunteers of America, and Young Audiences.

“The hours when young people are not in school, whether after 3:00 p.m. or during the summer, is time that is too important to waste. As part of our ongoing commitment to helping make those hours times of opportunity rather than of boredom and risk, The Wallace Foundation is pleased to again support quality summer programming for young people in New Orleans,” says Nancy Devine, Director of Communities for the Wallace Foundation. “The public-private partnerships that are developing to help support quality programs for young people are an encouraging sign of the continued revitalization of New Orleans,” adds Devine.
For more information on the Summer Learning Summit, call the Afterschool Partnership at (504) 460-5107 or visit the organization’s website at

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Afterschool Partnership is the intermediary organization leveraging resources to programs that serve children and youth during “out of school” hours in New Orleans. Since 2002, the Partnership has maintained connections between community groups, schools, government agencies, private funders and families. For more information on Afterschool Partnership, visit or call (504) 460-5107.
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school learning opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts. For more information and research on these and other related topics visit the Knowledge Center at