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Summer Learning

Summer Learning 2024

On March 5, 2024, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 4082, a pivotal piece of legislation aimed at bolstering summer learning opportunities for students across our state. The bill, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, allocates $30 million in state funding for summer learning initiatives in the upcoming summer of 2024. Additionally, it establishes a workgroup tasked with developing recommendations for sustainable, long-term, equitable funding for summer learning programs in the future. 

The Summer Learning Grants this year are only available through prioritized school districts (you may find more information on the ODE website), and those districts may contract with partner organizations to increase access to a variety of summer program opportunities. These prioritized districts are required to partner with at least one other organization for summer programs (and hopefully more than one). The combination of programs offered or made accessible through scholarships, transportation, or other partner agreements must include a combination of programming that covers all of the following:

  • Academic enrichment (based on state standards)
  • Youth development (including hands-on and social emotional learning)
  • Equitable access and family partnership (culturally and linguistically responsive)

This is a list of some other interesting and creative ideas for partnerships or maximizing access to summer programs for all youth and families which have come from brainstorming sessions that OregonASK has hosted with school administrators and CBOs. You may want to look at this list for some ideas for your own partnerships. For more ideas, check our 2023 Summer Solutions toolkit below.

If you already have partnerships or relationships with any of these school districts, we encourage you to reach out to them to let them know you would like to help with their Summer Learning Grant by partnering for summer programs. 

As you plan your summer offerings, you may be interested in taking (or having your staff take) one or more of our online / asynchronous courses (only $30 each), or sign up for our upcoming OregonASK Spring Conference, where there will be a LOT of excellent and relevant workshops on activities and strategies to maximize summer learning and summer fun for all Oregon summer and out of school time programs. We are also offering full conference scholarships for several rural participants.

 

Summer Solutions 2023

OregonASK is continuing to work alongside OAESD and regional ESD’s to support collaborative planning for summer 2023. While we do not know what the future holds for summer funding, especially specific to community-based organizations, we believe this approach to collaborative planning is the best place to be. 

This “Summer Solutions” document has been updated for 2023 to help addresses challenges that community-based organizations may be facing in preparing for this year, and being ready if funds should come out, including items such as insurance requirements, subcontracting, recruiting and retaining staff, providing transportation, finding good locations, and purchasing materials or equipment for programs. 

Summer 2022

In early April 2022, the Oregon Legislature allocated $50 million for community-based organizations to provide summer learning opportunities, administered by Oregon Association of Education Service Districts (OAESD). Community based organizations all across the state stepped up and ran some AMAZING programs, providing summer opportunities for many students who otherwise would not have had access to them. OregonASK used information from the required grant reporting form and through feedback from grantees to support reporting on the 2022 Oregon Community Summer Grants (OCSG) Initiative.

This report explores the impact of OCSG funds. It highlights the lived experiences from the initiative, summarizes the impact of grant dollars, discusses challenges and barriers in the OCSG process, and presents recommendations for the future. We hope that funding is made available in 2023 and beyond to continue to make summer programs accessible for ALL youth and families who wish to engage in them. 

 

We were also able to capture a small snapshot for programs around Oregon to share in these Impact Stories, like this one from Warm Springs or this one from Clatskanie Library

Summer 2021

Summer 2021 Program Survey Data & Report

Check out our Summer 2021 Executive Summary and Summer 2021 At a Glance infographic from our report, Whatever it Takes: Summer 2021And don’t miss out on the recommendations included in the report based on last year’s survey responses: 

  • Summer funding should be committed well in advance. Many districts and community organizations had to compromise on quality or duration in 2021 because they didn’t have enough time to plan. Research shows that planning for high-quality summer programs should begin in September. 
  • Summer funding must include direct support for community-based organizations. Nearly 60% of the programs reported here were operated by non-profit and for-profit organizations within the community. These community-based organizations make up the heart of summer learning in Oregon, and future fundings streams should acknowledge and support them by creating significant and dedicated funding streams for community organizations.
  • Invest in resources to support school-community partnerships. Partnerships between schools and community based organizations strengthen summer learning opportunities, and are mutually beneficial, and research shows that these partnerships increase benefits and lower costs.
  • Create systems for accountability and reporting. Any future funding for summer learning should include reporting systems that help identify gaps in access, and also help programs assess and improve the quality of their program.

Resources from 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. Summer programs are vital in supporting families as we continue toward recovery.

Check out these resources to help get ready for a memorable summer:

Here’s a few resources to help you plan for summer 2021:

Additionally, find other resources available with protocols for mitigating COVID-19 recommendations can be found on our COVID-19 Resource Page. 

Find out more about OregonASK's 2021 Summer Program Survey

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!

Summer Program Survey 2021

OregonASK is collecting information about summer learning opportunities in Oregon through a survey of community organizations, agencies, schools, or any other entity that is offering camps, classes, or child care this summer, and we are hoping you can spare a few minutes to take our survey, linked below.

This survey is designed for community organizations, agencies, schools, or any other entity that is offering camps, classes, or child care this summer. If you’ll be having fun with children and youth this summer, this survey is for you!

As a special thank you, we are delighted to offer a free registration to our fall conference to every organization who completes the survey (limited to one per organization). 

Check out more information on this Summer Survey Overview or contact OregonASK at summersurvey@oregonask.org

Check out the Latest on this year's National Summer Learning Week!

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