Summertime: Confronting Risks, Exploring Solutions: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 114
August 2007, Jossey-Bass
Communities across the country can learn from promising and innovative practices for what has been one of the most persistent, but often ignored, youth policy challenges in the United States. The chapter authors describe young people s summer growth potential and explore community-based solutions to address the need for all young people to have opportunities for learning and positive development over the summer months. Organizations, agencies, and individuals can and must work together strategically to ensure that all young people return to school in the fall ready to learn.
This is the 114th issue of the quarterly report series New Directions for Youth Development.
1. Summer learning and its implications: Insights from the Beginning School Study (Karl L. Alexander, Doris R. Entwisle, Linda Steffel Olson)
The Beginning School Study, which allows for comparison of achievement gains between the school year and the summer months, revealed a gap in growth in achievement when school is not in session.
2. Childhood body mass index gain during the summer versus during the school year (Douglas B. Downey, Heather R. Boughton)
During summer vacation, children’s body mass index, a measure of health, increases approximately twice as quickly as during the school year.
3. Characteristics of effective summer learning programs in practice (Susanne R. Bell, Natalie Carrillo)
Effective summer programs successfully accelerate participants’ academic performance and support positive youth development.
4. Summer programming in rural communities: Unique challenges (Ruthellen Phillips, Stacey Harper, Susan Gamble)
Drawing on the success of Energy Express, a rural summer reading and nutrition program, the authors share how other rural communities can overcome major challenges to provide high-quality summer programming.
5. Collaboration: Leveraging resources and expertise (Anne Byrne, Jane Hansberry)
Components of successful collaborations include shared organizational riorities,
combined resources, mutual institutional support and political will, and shared clarity of expectations.
6. Summer library reading programs (Carole D. Fiore)
For over a century, libraries have offered summer reading programs, which help students practice skills learned during the school year, promote intrinsic enjoyment of reading, and aid in cultural literacy acquirement.
7. Using evaluation to improve program quality based on the BELL model (Earl Martin Phalen, Tiffany M. Cooper)
Effective evaluation practices drive continuous program improvement and result in satisfied stakeholders and strong outcomes for the students served.
8. Finding the resources for summer learning programs (M. Jane Sundius)
Two strategies are needed for all young people to have access to high-quality summer learning opportunities: a national public advocacy campaign and extensive local public-private planning.
GIL G. NOAM is a clinical and developmental psychologist on the faculty of Harvard University and the founder and director of the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital.