Summer Learning

Resources for Summer 2021

While we can agree 2020 was not a normal summer, we have an opportunity to make 2021 a memorable summer for other reasons.

We hope you are able to take advantage of federal and state funding and resources, increase engagement, and meet the demands of youth and families in Oregon. The afterschool and summer field in Oregon has responded positively and demonstrated a “can do” attitude, flexibility and innovation from organizations, both large and small, throughout our state. 

Together, as a network and community, we will speak up for our profession and for our kids and families, we will take care of each other as we continue to strive to meet the needs of children and families. Summer programs are vital in supporting families as we continue toward recovery.

Learn more about Oregon’s needs in our 2017 Smart Summers Report

Importance of summer learning

The need for summer learning

National research shows that roughly two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years (Alexander et al. 2007). While not in the classroom over the summer most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math computation skills over the summer months, and low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement (Cooper, 1996). Additionally, parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al, 2004). Check out our Summer Learning graphic for more statistics.

Summer learning makes the national news...and Oregon, too

A recent article released in US News highlights the importance of taking action to support summer learning. Is Summer Breaking America’s Schools has excerpts from OregonASK’s own Beth Unverzagt and National Summer Learning Association CEO Matt Boulay. We know that the need is real and hope that you will also be able to help us build awareness as we share this story with local policy makers and summer partners.

children, football, attack

Summer Learning Partners & Resources

OregonASK is excited to continue supporting summer learning opportunities in a variety of ways, including participation in several projects we facilitate as well as connecting programs with local partners such as:

  • The utilization of federally funded Summer Meal sites, geared at providing access to food for more youth during the summer months. To find Summer Meal sites near you click here. 
  • Coordination with the Summer Reading Program, hosted by State Library of Oregon. Find your local library to see what programs and incentives they are offering this year!
  • National Summer Learning Association providing resources for parents, educators, and administrators to expand access to summer learning opportunities.
  • The Summer Meals Activity Guide is designed to help summer meal site volunteers maximize the quality of their summer meal sites. This short toolkit provides basic information about food safety, working with children, and includes some activities you can do at your site to attract more participants and create more fun! The activities and tips are only a starting point, meant to inspire program volunteers to be creative with their offerings!
  • STEM in Summer Activity Guide is a collection of creative and accessible science activities. The toolkit includes a framework for teaching STEM activities and experiments from the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, the Educational Equity Center at AED, Woodburn Afterschool Club and Pacific University. Designed to be used by anyone, the activities are for a range of age groups and cover subjects from astronomy to bubbles!