MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Summer may be right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean the school year is over just yet.
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) says summer learning programs plan to help a record number of students this year.
Education leaders and families are playing catch-up after some fell behind remotely learning during the pandemic.
“There is more interest in summer school learning programs right now than in the history of time,” CEO of the National Summer Learning Association Aaron Dworkin said.
There are two reasons, Dworkin said, people are trying to use the summer to help students catch up on what they may have missed during the school year.
The first is to students caught up in time for the next academic year.
The second is to help with the trauma young people have experienced through the pandemic. Dworkin said some of the challenges disproportionately affected low-income communities.
NSLA’s mission is to spotlight inequities over the summer months, usually between higher and lower-income students.
Students missed out on more than classroom instruction. Leaders say remote learning took away from building critical social and emotional skills.
“These learning losses and achievement gaps are not only academically, but opportunity wise,” Dworkin said. “Families that have the resources can do so many great things for their students around academics, sports, trips, learning new careers, and skills and internships, and then there are millions who don’t have the resources to that.”
Dworkin said research shows families in low-income communities fell further behind.
NSLA is working with school districts, government agencies, libraries, and non-profits to create opportunities.
The CEO of NSLA says this summer is unlike others.
It’s an opportunity to help young students survive the challenges of COVID-19, especially those who have been disproportionately affected in low-income communities.
NSLA will be hosting a webinar Wednesday, May 26th, ‘Engaged: Using Summer to Connect with Students and Families’ to help families learn how to participate and find the right summer program.
Click here for more summer learning program resources.