As a kid, I always looked forward to exciting and enriching summer activities.
Today, there is lots of research showing the perils of summer learning loss, and we know that it impacts our lower income communities disproportionately because they often have fewer opportunities for dynamic, stimulating activities during the summer months.
The research shows that summer learning loss contributes to the achievement gap and drop out rates that harm our lower income communities.
Now for the good news: Students in West County have access to many programs involving music, art, science, sports and other enriching experiences during the summer that are not only fun, but help students hit the classroom running in the fall.
Click here for a comprehensive list of summer programs in West County.
This new reality is thanks in part to the Ed Fund, which in 2012 launched the West Contra Costa Out-of-School Time Collaborative to focus on after school and summer programs.
Students who have access to music, art, science, sports and other enriching experiences during the summer and after school enjoy lifelong benefits.
High-quality out-of-school time programs provide students with learning experiences that lead to higher graduation rates, greater college enrollment and college completion, better preparation for the job market, and improved health and wellness outcomes for the duration of their lives.
Earlier today, kids at North Richmond's Shields Reid Park celebrated National Summer Learning Day. The event was a showcase for West County's Get Your Summer On! campaign, a public-private partnership to provide fun project-based learning experiences at local recreation centers this summer.