Research tells us that including time for active, hands-on learning during the summer is an important component of addressing Vermont’s poverty-based academic achievement gap. The link between learning loss and high school graduation rates, achievement gaps, and academic success has been well documented, and the means for combating summer learning loss are clear.
What are the needs for summer learning programs?
Children need summer programs Only 33% of Vermont families reported at least one child in a summer learning program in 2013.
Programs need funding to grow The good news is that only 14% of 21st Century Community Learning Center sites in Vermont did not offer summer programming (according to data from 2014-15). However, 33% of sites did not provide sufficient dosage in terms of number of weeks of programming; that is, they provided fewer than five weeks. These programs are poised to offer more programming, but lack the funding to do so.
Schools need support to offer services Based on a 2013 survey done by the VT Agency of Education, 66% of summer learning programs offered individualized tutoring, 58% offered summer school, and 24% offered online learning.
Families need access to programs Parents are looking for summer learning opportunities for their children. According to the Afterschool Alliance’sAmerica After 3pm report, 53% of Vermont families say they want their children enrolled in a summer learning program and 71% agreed that summer activities are important.
What kind of resources are available?
Here at Vermont Afterschool, we are committed to supporting summer programs and aim to build awareness around the needs, successes, partnerships, and best quality practices of summer programs in Vermont. Creating new, and building existing, high-quality programs throughout Vermont can help to decrease the achievement gap and provide opportunities that all of Vermont’s children deserve!
Interested in communicating about summer programs but are not sure where to start?