November 21, 2019
Issue No. 14

This Thanksgiving, please know that we at the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), see you and appreciate your leadership, hard work and dedication to improving the lives of America’s most vulnerable children. When many of us gathered at our summer learning national conference in Atlanta last month and heard the powerful stories of our presenters, attendees and award-winning programs , I could not help but be grateful for the chance to work with and support so many inspiring community leaders.

NSLA works every day to increase the quality and availability of summer learning opportunities across the United States. We believe summer provides a rare and powerful space in education to improve, innovate, inspire, and impact the lives of others.
With our legion of partners, we are changing summer from a time when many children fall behind to a time when all young people can learn, grow and propel forward. Through our investments in quality program practices, innovative partnerships, public policy and awareness efforts, we help our field grow, combat summer learning loss and close the achievement and opportunity gaps that grow between lower and higher income students each year.

Don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at the article below devoted to the evidence-based National Academy of Sciences report, which highlights how intentionally leveraging summer is a key factor in solving numerous challenges facing youth. NSLA has been leading this charge for more than 25 years.

As we look toward a new year, we want to hear from you as we shape several leadership development programs to grow the skills of staff and student leaders in the field. Email us with any topics of interest to your professional growth and program improvement efforts.

Chief Executive Officer
National Summer Learning Association
National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Release "Shaping Summertime Experiences" Report Webinar
The “Report Release Webinar: Shaping Summertime Experiences” by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), sponsored by The Wallace Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is available on Vimeo.

According to NAS, the report "examines the impact of summertime experiences on the developmental trajectories of school-age children and youth across four areas of well-being, including academic learning, social and emotional development, physical and mental health, and health-promoting and safety behaviors."

It also takes into consideration current literature and research on summer opportunities, in addition to providing recommendations about improving youth experiences over the summer.
There's still time to enter the 2020 Summer Learning Awards,   sponsored by the New York Life Foundation . This coveted award recognizes exceptional informal or enrollment-based summer programs that keep students safe and healthy, support their academic growth and improve the well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable children and youth. 

Eligible candidates for the Summer Learning Awards must submit their application by December 4, 2019  and demonstrate strong outcomes in promoting healthy youth development during the critical summer months through creative curricula, unique programming and effective family engagement strategies. This is a chance for your organization to be recognized as the best of the best in the field of summer learning and to shine a spotlight on all the amazing work you do for children and youth in your program.

There are three categories of awards. Each award-winning program will receive:
  • a $10,000 donation, generously supported by the New York Life Foundation;
  • national recognition through speaking engagements, NSLA’s publications, and media outreach to national and local news outlets as well inclusion in a social media campaign.
  • recognition at an awards ceremony at NSLA's national conference Summer Changes Everything™; and
  • an official award seal for use on their website and in promotional materials. 

A national review panel of education experts will measure all award applicants using the Summer Learning Program Quality Assessment tool, developed in partnership with NSLA and the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.

We hope you will enter and pass this opportunity along to your peers!
Watch the 2020 Summer Learning Awards Kick-off Webinar
Available on YouTube!
If you missed our 2020 Summer Learning Awards Kick-off Webinar on November 14th, now's your chance to watch the presentation and learn about this year's application and how to apply.

We also answered general questions about eligibility, deadlines, and how we score applications using NSLA's quality measures.