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Publications & Resources


Summer Pathways for Innovation Using Connected Learning



A strong body of evidence supports the conclusion that summer learning loss affects nearly all young people. The types and amounts of losses vary, but overall, the research consistently shows that summer learning loss is real and results in long-term, life-altering consequences. For example, new and existing research reveals that:

  • Two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).

  • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996). When this pattern continues throughout the elementary school years, lower income youth fall more than two and one-half years behind their more affluent peers by the end of fifth grade.

  • Most children – particularly children at high risk of obesity – gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

The National Summer Learning Association serves as a national resource for individuals and organizations.  Drawing from our own research and the research of others, we synthesize relevant information, make it available to general audiences, and distribute a growing collection of publications that cover summer learning issues.

To learn more, or to get help with a research project or program evaluation, browse the links at the top of this page under Publications & Resources.

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