Why Rethink Summer?

More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).

Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).

Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

Summer does not have to be a missed opportunity for children and youth!

The ALC believes that in order to improve academic achievement in Rhode Island, summer learning programs are a critical strategy and investment to ensure students continue to learn during the summer months and come back to school in September ready, prepared, and eager to tackle their grade-level curriculum.

Our Approach

  • service learning and its power
  • co-planning/co-delivery model
  • hands-on, experiential, real-world learning
  • connecting to the community in authentic ways

The Results

Summer learning programs contribute to positive outcomes!

Across all sites in the 2015 Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative (HSLI), the percentage change from pre- to post-test scores in both literacy and mathematics increased 15%.

School-day teachers overwhelmingly acclaimed the hands-on, experiential learning that was core to programs’ curriculum, believing this method of learning should be provided year-round.

A study of the Providence After School Alliance’s 2011 Summer Scholars program noted that teachers expressed feelings of excitement and motivation at increased student engagement.