Senior U.S. Department of Education officials will visit summer learning sites on Thursday, July 14, as part of the Summer Learning Association’s annual Summer Learning Day. Summer Learning Day activities will happen across the country, with events highlighting the importance of keeping all children learning, safe and healthy every summer.
During the visits, leaders will tour the sites and learn more about the programs. ED leaders will see summer learning in action in Indiana, Oregon, New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia.
Summer engagement is a key priority for the Obama Administration, which launched the Summer Opportunity Project earlier this year. Summer Opportunity Project is a multi-agency effort in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association and other collaborators. The project aims to support communities; increase the percentage of youth participating in evidence-based summer programs; decrease the percentage of youth experiencing violence over the summer; and support young people in securing their first job.
The need for summer engagement is especially important for low-income students. Research shows most students lose two months of math skills every summer, and low-income children typically lose an additional two to three months in reading. Over the summer months, some students experience a slide in learning that can contribute to gaps in achievement, employment, and college and career success. This is particularly true for low-income students who lose access to critical supports that keep them safe, healthy, and engaged during the school year.
In further support of summer learning activities, the Department has launched a Summer Learning Portal with access to additional resources and tools to help communities design and implement effective summer learning programs. Summer opportunities have been shown to divert youth from criminal involvement and reduce overall violence. They also offer a chance for young people to get their first exposure to the workplace and build a foundation for financial skills.
ED senior officials will visit the following sites:
WHO: Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
WHERE: Westminster Neighborhood Services, 2325 E New York St., Indianapolis, Indiana
WHEN: 12 p.m. ET
WHAT: Rev. Girton-Mitchell will visit Westminster Neighborhood Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. The organization works with the neighborhood, individuals, businesses, service and professional groups, religious organizations and community partners to serve local families with services including children’s programming, as well as food, clothing and supportive services.
WHO: Alejandra Ceja, executive director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
WHERE: Centro Cultural of Washington County, 1110 N Adair St., Portland, Oregon
WHEN: 1 p.m. PT
WHAT: Ceja will visit the Centro Cultural of Washington County’s Summer Learning Day event. The program provides educational after-school and summer programs for Latino youth. Their programs aim to supplement and reinforce what youth learn in schools, while providing opportunities to explore new and exciting subjects.
Newark, New Jersey:
WHO: Robert Kim, deputy assistant secretary for strategic operations and outreach, Office for Civil Rights
WHERE: NJ LEEP, Inc. (The New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project), 570 Broad St., Suite 700, Newark, New Jersey
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET
WHAT: Kim will visit the pre-law program located at Seton Hall Law for students entering 9th through 12th grades. NJ LEEP focuses on combining law-related education programming with college access programming. The school-based law-related education program includes summer internships as well as other skill-based programming. Kim will participate in a roundtable conversation with students.
New York, New York:
WHO: Emma Vadehra, chief of staff
WHERE: Harlem RBI, 333 E 100th St., New York, New York
WHEN: 11 a.m. ET
WHAT: Vadehra will visit Harlem RBI. Harlem RBI provides rich summer learning experiences for over 1,000 children in grades K-12 in East Harlem and the South Bronx. On July 14th, Harlem RBI's elementary, middle and high school participants will be engaged in interactive learning opportunities.
WHO: Libia Gil, assistant deputy secretary and director for English Language Acquisition
WHERE: Power Scholars Academy @ Seaton Elementary School, 1503 10th St., N.W., Washington D.C.
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30.a.m. ET
WHAT: Gil will visit the YMCA of Metro Washington and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) celebration of National Summer Learning Day. The event will spotlight the Power Scholars Academy – a cutting edge summer learning program co-developed by the YMCA and BELL.
WHO: Jaye Epsy, chief of staff, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
WHERE: University of DC Law, 4340 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Room 507, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Press Event 10 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.; Visit Novel Teens Ink at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHAT: Espy will participate in a press event with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. In addition, she will visit the Novel Teens Ink program, where 14 and 15 year old students will participate in workshops on videography, photojournalism, writing for the media, research, and/or web design.
WHO: Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights
WHERE: Brave New Voices Festival John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Terrace Gallery, Atrium, North Atrium Foyer, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET
WHAT: The 19th Annual Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Festival will convene the most outstanding and outspoken youth poets from around the world for five days of workshops, slams, showcases, community service and civic participation events. Lhamon will attend Policy Breakout Sessions where two finalists in each of the five categories will present their poems before discussions with policy makers from the White House.
WHO: Ann Whalen, senior advisor to the secretary, delegated the duties of the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education
WHERE: Plummer Elementary School, 4601 Texas Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.
WHEN: 11 a.m. ET
WHAT: Whalen will visit the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) summer school for kindergarten through 5th grade students, which features five weeks of engaging instruction in reading and math, an academic program chosen to prevent summer learning loss, and free breakfast and lunch.
WHO: Nadya Dabby, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement
WHERE: Patterson Elementary School (DCPS), 4399 South Capital Terrace, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
WHAT: Dabby will visit the DCPS summer school for kindergarten through 5th grade students, which features five weeks of engaging instruction in reading and math, an academic program chosen to prevent summer learning loss, and free breakfast and lunch.
WHO: Monique Chism, deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs
WHERE: Horizon’s Block Party to Celebrate Summer Learning Day, Maret School, 3000 Cathedral Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C.
WHEN: 12:30 p.m. ET
WHAT: Horizon’s academic approach is focused on educating the whole child through projects and experiences. Horizon’s students learn Reading, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and Swimming. This combination approach allows for unique learning experiences and promotes the development of the whole self.