Learning loss or the ‘summer slide’ as many know it,  is gearing up in the U.S.

As we glide through the month of May, I know that many teachers and students are steadily dreaming of how to spend their summer vacations.  Some will be off to sleep-away camp, some will travel to faraway places, and many others are still trying to figure it out.

But for many families, the summer will also bring a level of anxiety.  In the age of budget cuts, the opportunities for quality programs and government subsidized summer jobs will be few and far between.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, many low-income and underserved students will face two to three months’ summer learning loss in reading and math, while affluent and better resourced students may show slight gains in reading over the summer because of their access to summer enrichment.

What does this mean?

It means that the kids with the least access to educational resources and high-quality teachers during the school year are at great risk of summer learning loss.

They risk forgetting many of the things they’ve spent the last nine months learning.

The cumulative effect leaves our most vulnerable students at risk of falling further behind with each passing school year.

Tools to Fight Learning Loss

The challenges that emerge are even more evident when one considers the dearth of structured, low-cost academic summer activities for kids in middle school and beyond.  Luckily, groups like the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) are working to change all that.

This summer, we will once again be providing our middle school students with an academic summer camp that is aimed not only at reducing the summer learning loss gap, but also positioning students to be ahead of the game when they return to school in the fall. As one student told me, “I complained about going to HEAF during the summer at first, but then when I got back to school, I kept raising my hand when others were stumped. I felt proud to be ahead of the class.”

Here are a few ways that we keep the kids coming back…  Continue Reading this article by Dr. Danielle Moss Lee