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The National Summer Learning Association began as the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University--but the story really goes back to 1992, when Johns Hopkins’ student Matthew Boulay recruited his fellow undergraduates to provide tutoring and academic support to Baltimore City public schools students during the summer months.  Boulay’s summer project grew into a successful summer program called Teach Baltimore that helped boost students’ reading scores.

At the same time, mounting research documented "summer slide,” a cumulative loss of academic skills over the summer months that disproportionately affects low-income students, contributing to high drop-out rates and a persistent academic achievement gap between richer and poorer students.  As a result, the need emerged for a national organization devoted to making summer learning available to all children, but especially those children trapped in poverty without access to high quality summer learning resources, such as lessons, summer camps, educational vacations, and other enrichment opportunities.

In 2001, to meet that now-obvious need, Teach Baltimore evolved into the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University and, in September 2009, the Center became an independent organization, the National Summer Learning Association, providing resources, guidance and expertise to the summer learning community.

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