Research on summer learning losses has unambiguous implications for America: all children need learning opportunities in the summer. But how and when policymakers, educators, and youth service providers will fashion appropriate programming is far less clear. At the root of this problem is the need to vastly increase, stabilize, and coordinate resources for summer programming.
In this New Directions for Youth Development article, Director of the OSI-Baltimore Education and Youth Development Program Jane Sundius outlines the current landscape of summer programs. She goes on to make the case that two key strategies are necessary to securing sustainable increases in funding that will allow all children access to summer programming. The first is a national advocacy and public will-building campaign. The second is extensive, local, public-private planning to map existing summer resources and needs and to create blueprints for programming that serve all children in communities.
Drawing on her experiences as a foundation program director, Sundius urges programs, foundation officials, and other stakeholders to expand their summer funding efforts beyond individual programs and to support, in addition, strategic communications and community planning efforts aimed at providing summer learning opportunities for all children.