February 9, 2022
Issue No. 43
Greetings Summer Learning Community!
During the month of February, the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and our national network of educators, proudly celebrate Black History Month. Throughout this special month, we will honor the immeasurable contributions Black Americans have made in every facet of our society, including education.

Let us also recognize the inequities our children of color have faced throughout history, and work relentlessly to do our part in ensuring that all children access high-quality learning all year-round, including over the summer months.

We look forward to doing this work together.

— The NSLA Team
Summer Learning Emerges as Top Strategy for Academic Recovery
According to a recent national review of school district spending plans, summer learning emerged as the top strategy for helping students recover academically from the pandemic's impacts. More than half the districts plan to spend COVID-19 relief money on summer programs, and about a third will pay for extended learning time after school.

FutureEd analyzed spending plans submitted by more than 2,700 local education agencies teaching roughly 56 percent of the nation's public school students and receiving $64 billion of the $122 billion in ESSER III funds.
NSLA Leaders Discuss the Power of Relationships and Connections at American Camp Association's National Conference
Aaron Dworkin, NSLA CEO (l), and Brodrick Clarke, Vice President, Programs and Systems Quality, led important discussions on out-of-school time learning at American Camp Association's national conference in Portland, Oregon.

In Building Closer Partnerships Between Camps, Schools, and the Out-of-School Time Field, Dworkin, along with Carlos Santini from Mizzen by Mott, and Beth Unverzagt from Oregon ASK, explored ways to connect, coordinate, and support each other to reach more youth over the summer.

In Building Relationships, Clarke led a group of educators on a dynamic discussion on the invaluable need for trust when building relationships, particularly with students who have experienced trauma.

NSLA offers in-depth guides and resources, and can provide your next staff training, conduct a community landscape assessment or an evaluation of your program’s quality.
Public Libraries: The Community Bridge to Families
In this Scholastic EDU blog post, Aaron Dworkin, NSLA CEO, and Liz McChesney, former Chief Children’s Librarian for Chicago Public Libraries, and NSLA Field Consultant, share their thoughts on the vital role that public libraries play within our local communities. We all know public libraries serve as essential community resource for books, and multimedia resources, fostering a love for reading and learning.

This blog post broadens our lens on libraries. Join us as we explore public libraries' unique role in expanding summer learning as they often serve as connectors for programs, partnerships, and local government, including schools and educational councils. 
Save the Date: Summer Bootcamp, March 30-31 2022
The pandemic's impact on students is startling. By the end of the 2020–21 academic year, students on average were five months behind in math and four months behind in reading. According to a recent report, more than 35 percent of parents were very or extremely concerned about their children’s mental health.

Summer Bootcamp empowers educators with tools and best practices to meet this moment head on. Led by dynamic out-of-school time leaders, we delve into strategies to accelerate learning, build critical partnerships, and plan strategies to meet any scenario this season. 
2022 National Conference: Save the Date and Super Early Bird Special!
Photo: U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona & CBS News’ Margaret Brennan at Summer Changes Everything
Save October 24-26, 2022 on your calendar! Join us as we head back to the historic Mayflower Hotel in our nation’s capital for our annual Summer Changes Everythingnational conference.

Last year, more than 500 summer champions joined us from around the country and had the chance to learn from U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, Harlem Children Zone’s Geoff Canada, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan, NEA President, Becky Pringle, and so many other education leaders.

Interested becoming a Summer Learning Champion or a National Conference Sponsor or Exhibitor? Contact Christi Rokicki, Director of Development, NSLA, at
Newly-Released! Michigan's Summer Learning Toolkit
Learn what the key elements of program quality are and how to infuse them in every aspect of your program with the help of Michigan Afterschool Partnership's Summer Learning Toolkit. Get the latest scoop on how to get the word out about your summer program, and how to grow it for maximum community impact.

Interested in creating a
Summer Toolkit unique to your state?

Contact Christi Rokicki, Director of Development, NSLA, at
Oregon ASK Summer Learning Legislative Roundtable
Oregon ASK recently held its Summer Learning Legislative Roundtable, where program leaders and front-line educators provided perspectives on the power of summer learning to legislators. OregonASK is a collaboration of public and private organizations and community members which seek to address challenges affecting youth.

Oregon Ask presented its new report Whatever it Takes unveiled their video Capture the Magic of Summer. NSLA’s Brodrick Clarke, Vice President, Programs and Systems Quality, served as event moderator.
Where Did All The Afterschool Staff Go? Survey Findings Released
Afterschool Alliance released a special brief on afterschool staffing challenges from the fall 2021 Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 survey. The findings, highlighted in the brief, “Where Did All the Afterschool Staff Go?” provide a stark picture of the ways in which staffing is impacting the ability of providers to meet the needs of the children and families they serve.

Despite these sobering findings, one bright spot is that the survey indicates that COVID-19 relief funding is helping programs with recruitment and retention efforts.