National Summer Learning Association to Host Summer Changes Everything in Baltimore

29 Sep

NSLA CMYK logoBaltimore — With millions of students now back in school, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joins the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) in convening nearly 600 leaders from across the country for Summer Changes Everything™, NSLA’s 12th annual national conference exploring the role of summer learning in closing the student achievement gap in the United States. Summer Changes Everything™ brings together the country’s top thinkers to tackle the “summer slide,” a phenomenon in which young people lose approximately two months of academic knowledge when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months. See conference schedule highlights here.

“We know from more than 100 years of research that summer changes everything-for better or worse-for young people in our nation,” says Sarah Pitcock, NSLA CEO. “Far too many young people lose access to books, structured activities, caring mentors and adults and daily subsidized meals when the last school bell rings for summer break. NSLA is working in communities big and small to change that.”

This year’s conference theme: Renewing the Promise and Purpose of Learning captures NSLA’s belief that the extraordinary journey of learning requires high expectations for all students, great teachers and caring adults, and equal access to high-quality experiences that nurture a young person’s mind, body and spirit.

Educators, program providers, policymakers, funders and business leaders will delve into out-of-school time public policies, promising summer learning practices, and assess the significant shifts that need to take hold within our highest-need communities in order to create brighter futures for the country’s most vulnerable students.

Summer Changes Everything™ kicks off with a mayoral plenary session, moderated by Virginia B. Edwards, President and Editor-in-Chief of Education Week. This opening session focuses on the tale of two cities and their strategies to increase summer changes everythingaccess to and sustainability of summer enrichment and youth employment opportunities. The panel features champions on the issue: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore, Md) and Mayor Richard J. Berry (Albuquerque, NM).

Day two of the conference brings to the stage keynote speaker, Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County). Dr. Hrabowski was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), Hrabowski will share insights from his new book, Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement.

With youth at the center of NSLA’s work, Summer Changes Everything™ is powered by inspirational ideas, voices, and performances of local youth and will feature a youth art exhibition curated by Young Audiences of Maryland. A Youth Sparks panel discussion, moderated by Karim Abouelnaga, Co-founder and CEO of Practice Makes Perfect, will spotlight youth insights from the following organizations: Baltimore Urban Debate League; Baltimore City Public Schools 22nd-Century Pioneers robotics program; Higher Achievement, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program.

NSLA will also honor four exemplary programs recently announced as having earned the coveted 2015 New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award and NSLA’s Founder’s Award. Both awards recognize summer programs demonstrating excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for low-income children and youth, as measured by NSLA’s Comprehensive Assessment of Summer Programs.

“We are pleased to once again partner with the National Summer Learning Association, which is one of the nation’s leading authorities on summer learning,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “The Excellence in Summer Learning Award has grown into a program that has improved the quality of summer learning programs, which provide thousands of children across the country with enriched summer experiences.”

In addition to support from the New York Life Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, Summer Changes Everything™ is sponsored by CampSite, Comcast, Giant Word Winder, Scholastic, YMCA and media partner, Youth Today. Conference registration is open until October 12 and includes a Pre-Conference Summer Learning Planning Institute, more than 50 workshops, 30 exhibitors, youth performances and networking receptions. Learn more and register at http://www.summerlearning.org/conference.

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The National Summer Learning Association is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works in summer learning, develops and delivers capacity-building offerings and convenes and empowers key actors to embrace summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. For more information, visit http://www.summerlearning.org

#KeepKidsLearning this Summer by Joining NSLA’s Thunderclap!

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Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind – year after year – in core subjects like math and reading. The math and reading skills low-income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income kids.
By fifth grade, cumulative years of summer learning loss can leave low-income students 2 1/2 to three years behind their peers.
Many kinds of high-quality learning opportunities during the summer can make a difference in stemming learning loss, and ultimately closing the country’s achievement gap.
On June 17th, we’ll create an online groundswell with a Thunderclap calling for communities across the nation to level the playing field by keeping ALL KIDS learning this summer.
Donate one Tweet or Facebook post to encourage everyone to #KeepKidsLearning!

Stemming the Slide: How Summer Presents Unique Challenges and Opportunities for Underrepresented Students

14 Apr 2014 Charlotte 1 hashatg

Below is a shortened version (you know I would never do a presentation without icebreakers, but I didn’t want to spoil it for any potential participants!) of a presentation I am giving at the National Partnership for Educational Access Conference on April 17, 2015. Hope you’ll join me in Philadelphia and see what it looks like live and with tons of activities!

Apply for the 2015 Excellence in Summer Learning Awards

7 Jan 2014 Charlotte 1 hashatg

Do you run a high-quality summer learning program that should be recognized nationally?

NSLA CMYK logoThe National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA) Excellence in Summer Learning Award and the new Founder’s Award recognize summer programs or models that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people.

Just by submitting an application for one of these awards, your program will receive a feedback summary from NSLA outlining its strengths and areas for improvement. There is no cost to apply.

Award winners and finalists receive even more detailed feedback, similar to having a full CASP (Comprehensive Assessment of Summer Programs) assessment and a consultation phone call with the NSLA Program Quality Team.

As a Summer Learning Excellence Award Winner, your program will receive:

  • Visibility at NSLA’s Summer Changes Everything™ national conference through general sessions presentations, and other speaking opportunities.
  • National exposure through a NSLA press release during the busy summer media season.
  • Peer learning opportunities through NSLA’s new affinity group structure.

Your program may even be featured in a future case study in NSLA presentations, publications, or reports that are widely distributed throughout the education field and staged on summerlearning.org.

The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Visit summerlearning.org/SummerExcellence to learn more and apply today!

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Live Tweeting: The Summer Changes Everything National Conference on Summer Learning

20 Nov summer changes everything

I have been fortunate to work for the National Summer Learning Association since January, 2014. It is a wonderful organization not just in its mission and vision, but also in all my hardworking and passionate coworkers. Our annual conference, The Summer Changes Everything National Conference on Summer Learning was held from Monday, November 17th (the pre-conference) through Wednesday, November 19th in San Antonio, Texas. During the conference I was tasked with live tweeting the general sessions and workshops I attended, including my own!

Below is the social media roundup following the conference hashtag #SummerConf. If you see yourself below share the news that you’re a little bit internet famous after attending NSLA’s Summer Changes Eerything Conference. Tweet, Instagram, Tumblr, Reblog, Facebook… spread the word and use #SummerConf as a hashtag.

Pre-Conference and Opening Reception

Excited to see what is in store at the National Summer Learning Conference. #summerconf #hype4reading #hypefreedomschool

A photo posted by HYPE Freedom School, Inc. (@hypefs) on

Looking forward to presenting tomorrow #summerconf #punahousummer #pueoprogram @punahouschool

A photo posted by C Agena (@fenwayfan808) on

#jomdc we are here at the National Summer Learning Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Time to create quality summer dance programs #summerconf

A photo posted by Joy of Motion Dance Center (@joyofmotiondancecenter) on

Day 1

Day one of the National Conference on Summer Learning was very informative. Summer Changes Everything! #summerconf

A photo posted by HYPE Freedom School, Inc. (@hypefs) on

NSLA's pre-conference and first day of the #summerconf #flipagram made with @flipagram

A video posted by Dara, (@dara_laine) on

Wes Moore

Day 1, Continued

Thank you to the over 60 people that joined @goprojectnyc for our Falling in Love with data workshop! #summerconf

A photo posted by Olivia Nunez (@onunez513) on

@goprojectnyc is presenting soon. Excited to share our work & learn together. #summerconf

A photo posted by Olivia Nunez (@onunez513) on

Day 2

Summer Sparks – Youth Voice

Day 2, Continued

About the National Summer Learning Association: 

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works, offers expertise and support for programs and communities, and advocates for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. NSLA’s work is driven by the belief that all children and youth deserve high-quality summer learning experiences that will help them succeed in college, career, and life. For more information, visit www.summerlearning.org

Wes Moore on the Importance of Summer Learning in NSLA interview

6 Nov

The following interview is quoted in its entirety from the most recent Summer Times: Your Resource for Making the Most of Summer (a publication by the National Summer Learning Association). But first, learn a little bit more about Wes Moore.

About Wes Moore: 

Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network. His first book The Other Wes Moore became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa in 1998 as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College, and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. He then became a Rhodes Scholar, studying International Relations at Oxford University.

After his studies, Moore, a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. Moore then served as a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice.

He serves on the board of the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), The Johns Hopkins University, and founded an organization called STAND! that works with Baltimore youth involved in the criminal justice system.

Here’s the Interview:

NSLA asked Summer Changes Everything™ conference keynote speaker, Wes Moore about his summers, and why he feels summer is such a pivotal time for all youth. Check out his Q&A below:

Q: How did you spend your summers as a child?

A: When I was younger, my family never really did much over the the summer. We didn’t go on vacation or go to summer camps. We mostly just hung around the neighborhood. My mother was really creative and tried to use the resources of the neighborhood to keep us busy, but most my time was spent hanging with my friends in our neighborhood.

Q: Why do you feel summer learning is so important?

A: What happens over the summer or what doesn’t happen over the summer is putting us at a crucial disadvantage. Learning doesn’t stop over the summer. Students are still picking up information. The question becomes who are they picking up information from? Teachers and role models or friends on the street?

Q: How do we overcome the negative attitudes/perceptions about summer learning and what most think of as remedial summer school?

A: Learning should never have a negative stereotype and there is never a bad time to learn. In fact, some of our most privileged students spend their summers traveling and visiting other countries and sharing new experiences. This is certainly a type of learning, and it does not have a negative stereotype. We want to make sure that all students can realize learning over the summer doesn’t necessarily happen in a classroom, but academic experiences can be fun at any time.

Q: Tell us how summer learning providers are using your book, The Other Wes Moore in their programs?

We’re been fortunate enough to have our book used in a variety of learning environments. We’ve actually had many schools use it for summer reading to prepare for the upcoming year.

About the National Summer Learning Association: 

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works, offers expertise and support for programs and communities, and advocates for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. NSLA’s work is driven by the belief that all children and youth deserve high-quality summer learning experiences that will help them succeed in college, career, and life. For more information, visit www.summerlearning.org

Live Tweeting: Day 2 of the School’s Out Washington Bridge Conference

28 Oct

Today I had the great pleasure of attending and presenting at the 14th annual School’s Out Washington Bridge Conference. The people I met were passionate about working with young people and were engaged in every presentation.

About the Conference: The Bridge Conference brings together education and community leaders serving youth both in and out of school to come together to strengthen these partnerships between our formal education system and after-school and youth development (AYD) programs. This year’s conference theme was Making Learning Personal and emphasized how meaningful learning is ignited by personal passion, supports social-emotional learning all the while building competency in academics. We hope for a world in which all youth are accessing quality services both in and out of school that help them succeed in school and in life.

I had such a fun time live tweeting the plenary sessions and my two workshops. Below is the social media roundup of Day 2 of the conference.

Equality vs. Equity Bridge Conference 2014 #Bridge2014

A photo posted by Greg G. (@gbgarcia74) on

UW's campus is absolutely beautiful 💜💛 #Bridge2014

A photo posted by Mrs. Nolen-Viducich (@cviducich) on

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