Summer Learning

Resources for Summer 2020

We can all agree that this is not a normal May in Oregon. Currently, our questions are greater than the answers we have. We have been under emergency orders, staying home and staying safe for the past two months. The afterschool & summer field in Oregon is facing an incredibly challenging time as the communities served by afterschool and summer programs have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The financial impact already in the millions. However, as we hear from programs across Oregon, it is inspiring to hear the kindness, “can do” attitude, flexibility and innovation from organizations, both large and small, throughout our state. We are working together.

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. We will find our way into recovery.

A few resources in preparing for this unique summer:

The Need for Summer LearningNSLA logo

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.

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

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 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.

Summer Learning, Summer Library, Summer Lunch: SL3

Our Summer Learning, Summer Library, Summer Lunch (SL3) program started as a 4 site pilot in 2012 and has since operated at over 30 sites around Oregon, having reached 7,459 youth with 11,903 books. OregonASK continues to partner with the National Summer Learning Association, the State Library of Oregon, ODE-Child Nutrition, Bazillion Books, and most importantly, local schools to keep the doors of elementary and middle school libraries open while providing students with access to a healthy meal and engaging activities.

The Summer Learning Partnership is excited to continue growing this work as we expand to offer science, technology, engineering, and math learning activities as well.

Key Components of this partnership continue to be:

  • The utilization of federally funded Summer Meal
  • Coordination with the Summer Reading Program, hosted by State Library of Oregon.
  • National Summer Learning Association providing resources for parents, educators, and administrators to expand access to summer learning opportunities.

Other Programs Around Oregon

CLICK HERE to see more examples of Summer Learning Around Oregon

Summer Learning Policy

We are thrilled to see interest in summer learning growing and want to thank the many Champions who continue to elevate the conversation:

Thank you Representative Smith Warner for Championing Summer Learning at the state legislature this year! Thanks to Senator Hass for co-sponsoring 2017 summer legislation, to the Summer Learning Work Group members, Representative Hack and Senator Roblan, and all who continue to support this work!

Thanks to Representatives Nathanson, Doherty, McLain, Piluso, Frederick, Keny-Guyer, Komp, and Vega-Pederson for co-sponsoring the Summer Learning Policy Advisory bill in the 2016 legislative session as well.


OregonASK joined the fun again in Salem on June 25th, 2018 for the annual Summer Learning Block Party showcasing local summer opportunities for all ages.

Summer 2017

Summer 2016

We spent June 27th at the Gilbert House Children’s Museum in Salem, celebrating  summer learning! The party ran from 10am-5pm, with free admission to the Museum all day long! Nearly 1000 youth and families joined us to:

  • Learn about local summer resources
  • Do hands on activities
  • And have fun!

Thanks to our event sponsors New York Life, Fresh n’ Local, and Kettle Foods for their generous contributions to support this summer learning community event! Click Here for more event details and photos from the day.