Summer slides aren’t exclusive to parks, especially for children of color and those living in low-income communities. It describes the learning loss that many students experience over the summer, especially if they aren’t involved in a summer learning programs.
Warnings are going out that proposed federal budget cuts to after-school care and summer learning programs will harm underserved students. The American Library Association said in a statement that funding cuts are “counterproductive and short-sighted.”
Jennifer Peck, president and CEO of Partnership for Children & Youth (PCY), writes in EdSource that the summer slide widens the achievement gap between higher-income students and those who are underserved.
She points to a Johns Hopkins University study that blames summer learning loss for about two-thirds of the achievement gap by ninth grade.
Quality summer programs can reduce this gap by improving literacy, social skills, and work habits.
However, the expense of quality summer programming puts it out of reach for many families. PCY, a California-based education non-profit, works to expand access to quality after school and summer programs.
In a recent independent study, PCY found significant improvement in student outcomes associated with summer learning. However, proposed budget cuts could defund many after-school and summer programs across the country. Our students would be among those who are most affected.
Peck encourages concerned community members to call their legislators, asking for support that will ensure equitable educational opportunities for all students, regardless of race or financial resources.