Everything is Coming Up Summer!

Over a hundred LA’s BEST students from three Los Angeles area schools particpated in a summer kick-off event to launch three initiatives the organization supports to shine a spotlight on the importance of keeping kids mentally active during the long break between school years.

“Summer Learning Loss is a problem,” said Carla Sanger, President & CEO of LA’s BEST. “There’s a correlation between the step backward that some students take in the summer and the poor performance by those students in the following school year. On the other hand, by engaging students in the summer, you can not only help them retain the knowledge from the previous school year, you can actually build upon that knowledge and give them a leg up on the upcoming term. That’s the message of the summer- learning events and that’s the thinking behind our summer programming.”

LA’s BEST is observed National Summer Learning Day at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. LA’s BEST unveiled its digital badges, which students can earn by achieving various academic goals during the Mayor’s Los Angeles Summer of Learning. The event showed the organization’s commitment to the statewide Summer Matters campaign, whose mission is to create awareness among parents of the importance of student enrichment during summer.

A vast body of research shows that students who lack access to quality summer learning opportunities risk suffering “summer learning loss” – this term refers to an actual loss in academic skills and knowledge during the summer months that sets students back academically. Research shows that high-quality and engaging summer learning programs prevent summer learning loss and strengthen students’ social and academic skills, work habits, attitudes, and readiness to learn.

On this beatiful sunny LA day, National Summer Learning Day aimed to show parents, educators, and decision-makers that summer learning is critical to closing the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their peers. Students from Hobart, Dyer, and First Street particiapted in activites like rock climbing, gardening, while also learning how to create delicious snacks.  They let their creativitiy flow with arts and crafts and even hung out with California State Park representives, who shared with them a variety of animal skelitons. 

This year, State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson and the Summer Matters Campaign helped develop legislation that will update how California allocates over $120 million in federal after-school program dollars via the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program so that more students have access to year-round learning. SB 1221, authored by State Senator Loni Hancock, was passed by the State Senate on May 28th and is now being considered by the Assembly Education Committee.

“This celebration showcases the great work happening in Los Angeles and mirrors other fabulous summer learning events that are happening across the state. We’re excited that so many school and city leaders understand the importance of children learning year-round,” said Jennifer Peck, executive director of the Partnership for Children and Youth and chair of the Summer Matters Campaign.

For more information about how to participate in LA's Summer of Learning, click here.