Summer Learning Programs and Approaches for Economically-Disadvantaged Children

Posted by on October 12, 2009

Report describes characteristics of effective summer programs

Effective summer programs can reduce summer learning loss among low-income youth, a leading cause of the achievement gap between low-income and more affluent students.

A new Child Trends review of the limited number of summer learning programs that have been rigorously evaluated suggests that these programs are likely to have positive impacts when they engage students in activities that are hands-on, enjoyable, and have real-world applications.

The review, summarized in a fact sheet entitled What Works for Summer Learning Programs for Low-Income Children and Youth, also finds that effective programs are guided by grade-level curricular standards; led by experienced teachers; conduct classes with 15 or fewer students and at least two teachers; and complement group learning with individual support.

The fact sheet includes a table that shows whether the evaluated programs were found to work, not proven to work, or had mixed findings for educational/cognitive, youth development, and career-development outcomes.

The fact sheet is based on another Child Trends white paper entitled Effective and Promising Summer Learning Programs and Approaches for Economically- Disadvantaged Children and Youth.

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