Post submitted by Gary Huggins, chief executive officer of whole child partner National Summer Learning Association.
Research has shown that every year, most youth lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math skills. Low-income youth lose over two months in reading skills. Called the "summer slide," this loss of academic skills disproportionately affects low-income students, contributing to high dropout rates and an ever-persistent academic achievement gap.
But there is evidence that students can avoid this learning loss by attending high-quality summer programs, which help boost student achievement. Three such programs have recently been chosen by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) for the 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Awards: the United Way of Santa Barbara County (Calif.) Fun in the Sun Initiative, Ohio State University's LiFE Sports Camp, and the GO Project of Lower Manhattan in New York. These programs all demonstrate effective strategies in curbing the effects of summer learning loss by offering strong, individualized instruction and engaging activities for students.