Expanded/summer learning

Every child needs access to quality summer-learning opportunities in order to avoid summer learning loss, and to be successful in school and in life. Summer learning loss is cumulative and disproportionately affects low-income students. Quality summer learning includes intentional academic programming, enrichment activities, literacy, physical activity, health and nutrition, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Listen to this quick radio interview that recently aired on "Looking at Education" on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco.

Summer Matters Campaign Co-Chair Jennifer Peck

Learn more by listening to this 30-minute "Let's Chat" segment on Radio Disney AM 1310.

What is summer learning loss and what can parents do to help their children?

Special Guests:

  • California State PTA President Carol Kocivar (2011-2013)
  • California State PTA Vice President for Education Dianna MacDonald (2011-2013)
  • Summer Matters Campaign Co-Chair Jennifer Peck

PTA Program in a Box: Summer Matters (Click to right to download)
The Summer Matters "program in a box" is a resource for PTA leaders and units to facilitate presentations and discussions in your community and school on the importance of summer learning. This easy to download file includes an array of pre-made and adaptable materials including a draft flyer, power point presentation with talking points, and a factsheet to help parents understand the importance of summer and take the next steps toward making summer a memorable and healthy time for all children in their community.

Watch this video to learn more about the importance of summer learning, particularly for disadvantaged children:

Key facts from the National Summer Learning Association:

  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the 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
  • 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
  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do

PTA Positions:

California State PTA strongly supports summer learning and adopted a resolution titled "Summer Learning Loss" at the 2013 annual convention urging federal, state and local policymakers to create and fund summer learning programs, especially for disadvantaged youth.

Additionally, a 1980 California State PTA convention resolution titled "Summer School" urges PTA to "seek and support legislation to offer, and separately fund, summer school for remediation, enrichment and reinforcement of the course of study for elementary and secondary students.

Key Resources:

Read the study

Or listen to the researchers talk about their study here:

Sources for additional information:

Partnership for Children and Youth website: www.summermatters2you.net

National Summer Learning Association: http://www.summerlearning.org/

Research briefs: http://www.summerlearning.org/?page=research_brief