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ERIC Number: ED506968
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 39
Abstractor: ERIC
Building Quality in Summer Learning Programs: Approaches and Recommendations
McLaughlin, Brenda; Pitcock, Sarah
Wallace Foundation
This report identifies the different settings in which summer programs for disadvantaged youth most commonly take place--schools, parks and recreation departments, community--and faith-based organizations, and child-care programs-- and examines the limitations and opportunities presented by each in building better programming. It reviews broadly the landscape of summer programs while focusing specifically on the resources available to support quality in the types of programs that typically serve youth living in high-poverty urban centers. Variability in programming is great, access to quality supports differs and more work must be done to identify summer quality standards. The paper begins by defining what we mean by summer program. It then offers a framework, or typology, for understanding the diversity in the field of summer programming. The typology is organized by the dimensions on which summer programs vary most significantly, including operator, programmatic focus, duration, target population, primary funding source, and connections. Finally, it delves more deeply into the resources available to support quality among the program operators who tend to serve large numbers of low-income, urban youth. Schools, child care providers, parks and recreation centers, and community- and faith-based organizations meet this criterion. Based on the authors' explorations of these four types of operators, several recommendations are made for strengthening summer program quality across diverse settings. These include: (1) Adapt out-of-school time curriculum for summer; (2) Identify and validate baseline quality standards for summer; (3) Promote and disseminate quality assessment tools specific to summer; (4) Connect summer programs to intermediaries; (5) Develop an online clearinghouse of quality supports for summer programming; (6) Professionalize staff in the field of out-of-school time and summer learning; and (7) Communicate a new vision for summer school. (Contains 1 figure, 3 appendices, and 33 endnotes.)
Wallace Foundation. 5 Penn Plaza 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212-251-9700; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wallace Foundation