The National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA) 2015 Summer Changes Everything™ national conference on summer learning brought together nearly 600 leaders from around the country to tackle the summer slide and to explore this year’s theme: Renewing the Promise and Purpose of Learning. Through three full days of networking, interactive sessions, and inspiring youth performances and moments, attendees celebrated the joy of learning and reflected on the power we have to connect young people with their passions and grow them into confident learners and leaders.
Sarah Pitcock, CEO of NSLA, delivered a state-of-the-field address on summer learning and NSLA also released three new research briefs on:
- Calculating the Return on Investment in Summer Learning
- Preventing College Plans from Melting Away
- Summer School and Reading Proficiency
Workshops and NSLA’s new Summer Learning Labs were offered through three strands:
- Program Planning and Development
- Effective Learning Approaches
- Community System-Building and Advocacy
Highlights of General Sessions
Cities at the Center of Summer Learning: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officially kicked off the conference with a conversation about collaborative cross-sector strategies that communities can implement to increase access to and sustainability of summer enrichment and youth employment opportunities.
Keynote Address: Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), inspired conference attendees by touching on the importance of rethinking how to connect learning to life and treating child every child like a thinker.
Youth Sparks: Karim Abouelnaga, Co-Founder and CEO of Practice Makes Perfect, talked with dynamic youth speakers and panelists as they shared their experiences of summer learning, focusing on the importance of mentors and how they became mentors themselves.
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