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Afterschool Alliance: More Students Attend Summer Learning Programs, But Unmet Demand Remains High

Thursday, June 11, 2015  
Posted by: Tyler Mattingly
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Research shows that summer learning loss is a significant contributor to the achievement gap; students from low-income families typically lose two to three months in reading achievement and two months of math skills during the summer months. 

America After 3PM, available online, includes national findings as well as state-by-state breakouts of data regarding how children and youth spend their time after school and during the summer. Key findings related to summer learning programs include:

  • Unmet demand. The demand for these programs far exceeds supply. While more than half of respondents (51 percent) report that they would like their child to participate in a summer learning program, just 33 percent of parents report having at least one child in a program. 
  • Strong public support for funding for summer learning programs. Eighty-five percent of parents support public funding for summer learning programs. Support is at or above 75 percent in every state.
  • Costs vary widely from state to state. Nationally, the average cost of a summer program is $288 per week. But the state-to-state variance is enormous, with average per-week costs to families ranging from $115 (Idaho) to $639 per week (Nevada). Variations
    may be due to program intensity and length, local staffing and facilities costs, transportation, and other factors.
  • Five hours per day for five weeks. Nationally, children participate in summer learning programs an average of five hours per day for five weeks. The average amount of time students spend in programs varies greatly by state – from six hours per day for six weeks in Virginia to just three hours per day for five weeks in Wisconsin.

Read the entire press release and check out the America After 3PM fact sheet on summer learning. Visit the Afterschool Alliance website to read the full America After 3 PM report.

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