The wonderful thing about a Summer Learning Program is that the options for activities are endless. These activities can be completed in the library or at home. Examples include:
Because summer slide affects more than just reading levels.
Summer is a time when kids and teens can spend time learning about topics that they personally want to learn about.
Summer Reading encourages completion of books/pages/minutes. It does not encourage insightful thought about what is read and deep learning. In a Summer Learning program, they will come out of summer having learned something or experienced something new rather than just having completed a program.
A Summer Learning program helps build the 21st century skills that kids need to be successful today.
More informational about why can be found in the Resources section of this website.
Participants will check off boxes on an activity log as they complete them. They then bring their activity log to the library to report on their progress.
“Completion” is up to each individual library or library system. Perhaps a child needs to complete 10 activities to receive a prize. Perhaps that threshold is 20 activities. Perhaps each child is allowed to set his or her own goals for incentives and completion.
As long as learning is involved, the library patrons/customers have completed the program correctly.
Everyone that enters the library during the summer benefits from seeing the programs and resources that the library provides. Hopefully they will return when the time is right for them.
There is still a reading component to the program. Kids that like to read can choose activities that are more book based.
Most of the activities require some type of literacy skill. For example, you need to be able to read a recipe in order to bake a cake. Creating a game requires a child to think through rules and strategies similar to the concept of plotting a storyline.
No. The main difference between the two programs is the type of activities that participants complete in order to do the program.
Participants will sign up like they’ve done in the past. They will report their successes to a librarian like they’ve done in the past.
Some of the activity options in a Summer Learning Program can be built around activities that the library is already doing. Do you have a weekly preschool storytime? Program attendance can be one of the activity options. Do you have a storyteller visit each summer? Listening to story can be one of the activity options. Do you have a coding program? Don’t forget about technology activities. Do you offer drop-in programs? Activities that are available anytime that the library is open offer opportunities for people when staff-led programs are not available.
No. The idea is to for children, teens, and adults to have a variety of learning experiences over the summer. Libraries can suggest activities that follow the theme but this is not required.
Summer Learning is not an all-day program. Kids can complete activities as they fit into their schedule, just like a Summer Reading Program.
Yes, kids are learning. They are learning about topics that interest them and therefore maintaining and gaining valuable skills throughout the summer.
Check with your District Consultant in March for the updated report questions.
Cahill, Carrie, Kathy Horvath, Anne McGill-Franzen, and Richard Allington. No More Summer-Reading Loss. 2013. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC). “Libraries at the Center of Summer Learning and Fun: An Online Toolkit to Expand from Summer Reading to Summer Learning.”
RAND Corporation. Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning. 2011. National Summer Learning Association infographic
RAND Corporation. Nine Lessons on How to Teach 21st Century Skills and Knowledge.
Yoke, Beth. “Adopting a Summer Learning Approach for Increased Impact: A YALSA Position Paper.” Adopted by the YALSA Board of Directors on April 22, 2016.