Still have questions? Contact Us.
The Association has compiled a list of responses to our most frequently asked questions. We hope that many of these questions are addressed throughout the website. If you have any additional questions, please contact us.
Click on a question and it will connect you to the desired response.
1. What do you do?
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap through high-quality summer learning for all children and youth. Our work centers on three strategic priorities:
- Recognizing and disseminating what works in summer learning.
- Offering expertise and support for programs and communities to strengthen and expand summer learning opportunities.
- Convening leaders and advocating for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education.
2. How do I get to your office?
The Association is easily accessible at:
National Summer Learning Association
575 S. Charles Street, Suite 310
Baltimore, MD 21201
3. I am with the media and would like to speak with someone about a possible story idea. Who should I contact?
If you are a media representative who wants to find out more, you can start by contacting Director of Marketing Communications, Nancy Levesque at 410-856-1370 x200 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Where can I find funding for my program?
Many resources exist to help you find funding. In general summer programs are funded through government grants, foundation grants, private donations, and fundraising events. Some of the most widely used government funds include 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Title I Supplemental Education Services, the Child Care and Development Fund, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Click here to find to resources to assist you in finding funding.
5. I want to prevent summer learning loss for my child. What should I do?
Parents and other caregivers are essential for helping prevent summer learning loss. Home and community environments play a big role in helping children and youth retain and advance their learning. There are many easy and fun activities you can do with your child to help them maintain the skills and grow during the summer months. Read with your children every day, go to the library, participate in the library’s summer reading program, explore parks and nature preserves, visit museums and cultural centers, and practice simple math skills while baking or at the grocery store. Ask your child’s teacher what she will be learning in the next grade, and ask for ideas about how you can begin building those skills during the summer. Explore the many websites and publications that offer fun, summer activities for your children.
The Association recognizes how important it is for families to have access to a variety of resources to reinforce learning at home. We hope to develop more resources to help parents and families find and support high quality summer learning experiences for their children. Keep checking our website!
6. How can I find a summer learning program for my child?
The program resources section of the website provides links to summer program directories and networks across the country. If you are unable to find a resource for your community, you may also contact Jody Libit at email@example.com to help identify programs and contacts.
7. I'm writing a paper about summer learning loss. What information can you give me?
The following website link provides a range of resources for research papers.
8. How long should a summer program be in order to show an impact on young people?
The most important thing to be concerned about for stemming or reversing summer learning loss is continual opportunities for learning during the summer months. Generally, we recommend that programs run for at least 6 weeks, at least 6 hours a day over the course of the summer. While the amount of learning time is critical, how that time is spent is even more critical. We suggest at least 6 weeks, 6 hours a day because programs that have proven effective at increasing kids' learning have run for this length of time.
9. Does the Association want to take away summer vacation?
No. We know that many families value their summer vacations and we do, too.
For some families, vacations represent an ideal time to pursue special interests, study music, go to camp, tackle creative projects, or take educational trips -- all endeavors that we strongly support.
However, we know that not all families and children have access to these types of activities during the summer months, particularly those in low-income communities.
Extensive research shows that unequal access to summer learning opportunities plays a key role in the achievement gap, childhood obesity, and other important indicators.
We support giving families choices, and that includes the choice to have children participate in high-quality summer programs that help them to learn and to keep pace academically through a variety of hands-on, engaging activities.
No parent or guardian should be held back by circumstances that prevent the children they care for from being engaged, healthy, and learning over the summer months.
The National Summer Learning Association is committed to supporting summer learning providers and ensuring that schools and communities offer choices to families by providing summer learning resources.
10. Is funding available for non-school programs?
There is no specific non-school funding available through ARRA, however, non-profits with a strong academic focus and good track record can partner with schools for some ARRA funding.
Beyond that, money is available through private foundations, community foundations, and by leveraging partnerships for local funds. The best approach depends on factors such as location and focus.
Our Association is also in the process of researching and creating a funding toolkit that we will make available to members. In the meantime, we offer basic tips, such as how to align program goals with funding needs, in chapter 7 of our handbook, Making the Most of Summer.
In the meantime, please stay in touch by registering here to receive all the latest updates.
11. What is Summer Learning Day?
Summer Learning Day is a nationwide advocacy celebration—a holiday to mark the importance of summer learning. It is a chance for summer learning programs to share with funders, families, teachers, principals, mayors, city councilmen, school boards, and others the contributions they make to the lives of children and families.
Host an event during the week of July 14 or anytime during summer! During this national showcase, summer learning programs highlight how they work to:
Learn more about Summer Learning Day.
- Maintain and advance participants' academic and developmental growth
- Support working families
- Keep children safe and healthy
- Send young people back to school ready to learn