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Two new resources to kick-off your summer learning plans!

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Two new resources to kick-off your summer learning plans!

While the New Year has just begun and we are firmly in winter’s grasp, now is actually a great time to start planning for your summer programs. To assist in this process, the Wallace Foundation has released two brand new resources to help organize your thoughts and kick-off your first steps into creating a summer filled with engaging opportunities for your participants.

1. Getting to Work on Summer Learning, Second Edition

Expanding on RAND’s first edition that was published in 2013, this 2018 report provides an updated look at summer learning, with more details and more recommendations to enable school districts and program providers to curate their summer learning programs to best promote student success in school. The study poses guidance based on a close examination of five different school districts offering voluntary, district-run summer learning programs; it is currently the largest data set amassed regarding summer learning.

From this data collection, which involved around 5,600 students in 3rd through 7th grade, RAND has identified four major factors that impact programs:

  • Sufficient Duration: The study found that the most successful gains came from programs that lasted for five to six weeks, with three to four hours of academics each day.
  • Regular Attendance: By establishing a firm enrollment deadlines and a clear attendance policy, programs can ensure that youth are getting the most out of their participation.
  • Quality Instruction: Rand recommends hiring teachers or instructors who have grade-level and subject-matter experience and being intentional about the selection or creation of curricula.
  • Positive Climate: In order to best provide an environment conducive to learning, the report suggests steps, including training instructors in behavior management and developing clear, positive messages about the goals and culture of the program, to convey to instructors, participants, and their families the values and expectations of the program.

Getting to Work on Summer Learning collates all of their research to articulate more than 50 specific suggestions and guidance points for programs to direct their efforts in planning for their summer learning programs. To help providers and districts implement these suggestions, the Wallace Foundation, in collaboration with the National Summer Learning Project, also created…

2. Summer Learning Toolkit

This evidence-based toolkit combines the research and guidance offered in RAND’s study and translates it to a practical application model that users can employ when planning for the different facets of their summer programming. With specific sections and tools dedicated to Academics & Enrichment, Staffing, Student Recruitment, and Site Climate, the Toolkit offers a clear path for those at any stage of the planning process, with any level of program planning experience.

Each of the customizable resources is designed to allow you to tailor it to your individual program or district; sample documents provide examples of other programs’ most successful practices. Field experts have laid out clear advice and guidance for the best ways to use the tools and resources available.

To best direct your efforts, check out the “How To Get Started” tab within the Toolkit to see where your particular role or planning priorities align with a specific tool.    

Happy planning!

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New issue brief: Afterschool and the juvenile justice system

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New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

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BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

Closing the Childhood Equity Gap: New report provides a data-driven look into the prioritization of children at the state and local levels

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BY: Erin Hegarty      06/26/20

New issue brief: Afterschool and the juvenile justice system

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BY: Erin Hegarty      05/26/20

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BY: Bella DiMarco      05/20/20

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

What resources do staff need to support youth mental health and wellness?

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BY: Guest Blogger      05/23/19

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Recognizing the role of afterschool and summer programs and systems in reopening and rebuilding

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Two new resources to kick-off your summer learning plans!

While the New Year has just begun and we are firmly in winter’s grasp, now is actually a great time to start planning for your summer programs. To assist in this process, the Wallace Foundation has released two brand new resources to help organize your thoughts and kick-off your first steps...

BY: Erin Hegarty      01/14/19