Summer Learning Loss


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Research validates a troubling trend in teachers’ experience each year when school starts anew: the summer months provide wildly different experiences that enhance or stymie students’ educational growth.  For some youth, especially those in middle or upper income families, summer is full of expanded learning opportunities (regular trips to museums, pools, libraries, and zoos, diets rich with fresh summer fruits and vegetables, participation in hands-on learning programs, family outings), experiences that enrich school-year learning.  For youth living in poverty, summer looks and feels far differently — low quality food and/or hunger, lack of recreation or stimulating learning experiences, limited interaction with adults outside of the home, and overall diminished developmental opportunities.

Summer Learning Loss, the June episode of The State of Education in Nebraska, examines how these trends impact educational outcomes and the importance of providing all youth with safe, high-quality learning experiences and environments during the summer months.  Following a review of national research, a panel of formal and informal educators will discuss steps Nebraska communities are taking to address summer learning loss and will answer questions posed by a live studio audience.

“Learning doesn’t take a summer break.  Youth need stimulating experiences and safe environments to continue healthy development during the summer months.  As the adults in charge, we need to understand that times have changed and that the costs of ignoring summer learning loss can be dramatic – for individual children, for our communities, and for Nebraska’s economic future.”
     — Jeff Cole, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation




MSNBC: Higher Achievement
Every child has potential. But if there's no place
to go to put in the effort, that child
may not live up to that potential.

Horizons National: Summer Learning
Watch this graphical representation of
what happens in the summer
to both middle-income and poverty-level students.





Jeff Cole
Program Moderator;
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Community Learning Center Network Lead
Richard Anthony Tagle
National Summer Learning Association Board Member
Luisa Palomo
Omaha Liberty Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher; 2012 Nebraska Educator of the Year
Mick Hale
Omaha Durham Museum Education Director
Sarah Zulkoski
Nebraska EPSCoR Outreach Coordinator
Susie Brown
Lincoln Clyde Malone Community Center staff; North Star Community Learning Center Coordinator





NET Learning Services
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Loves Public Schools
America’s Promise Alliance Grad Nation
Avenue Scholars Foundation
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Center for Children, Families, and the Law
Coalition for Community Schools
Lincoln Community Foundation
Nebraska Community Learning Center Network
Nebraska Trucking Association

Project Liftoff
Urban League of Nebraska
United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County

United Way Readers, Tutors and Mentors


© 2013

American Graduate is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.