The National Summer Learning Association examines the characteristics of effective summer learning opportunities, gives examples of high-quality programs, and presents an agenda for improving such programs.
Informal literacy experiences often serve to shape young people’s identity as readers and writers as much as or more than formal schooling.Community and family support can emphasize the importance of reading and writing, build confidence, influence young people’s literacy habits, and encourage youth to seek out ways to engage in literate activities. Through a renewed national push for literacy on all levels, both families and community members have diverse opportunities in which to impact students’ literacy skills.This article offers strategies to develop community engagement.
Nancy Cloud, Judah Lakin, Erin Leininger, Laura Maxwell
Before- and after-school programs can play an important role in ELLs’ success by providing a place and time for homework, extra academic support, and enrichment activities. These programs are particularly helpful for older students who may not have access to academic resources or help at home, or those with responsibilities such as working or caring for younger siblings. Learn more about the elements of an effective before- and after-school program for ELLs from this excerpt of Teaching Adolescent English Language Learners: Essential Strategies for Middle and High School (Caslon Publishing , 2010).
Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates, better preparation for college, and positive effects on children’s self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. High-quality summer programs keep students engaged in learning, teach them new skills, allow them to develop previously unseen talents, and foster creativity and innovation.
How can structured out-of-school (OST) time programs provide more support to students and schools in advancing literacy skills? How might these programs incorporate adolescent literacy development activities, while preserving their unique youth development approach?
More students fail ninth grade than any other grade and many of these students ultimately drop out. Can pre-emptive interventions lead to increased graduation rates? Emerging evidence suggests that eight-grade transition programs increase pass rates, boost enthusiasm for learning, improve academic skills, enhance self-esteem, and reduce discipline problems.