Are Year-Round Enrichment Programs the Answer to Summer Learning Loss?

BY Mike Fritz  August 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM EST

NewsHour photo by Mike Fritz

Few things conjure up childhood nostalgia like summer vacation. Yet the long period away from school is often cited by education experts as a crucial factor in explaining why some students fall behind in subjects like math, reading and science every year.

Recent studies like the ones conducted by the RAND Corporation and Wallace Foundation and the Harvard Family Research Project show that “summer learning loss” (what kids forget while on vacation) has a greater impact on low-income students.

The NewsHour’s American Graduate team recently traveled to Seattle to profile an organization called “Rainier Scholars,” a non-profit that accepts 60 to 65 low-income, minority students annually, selecting from over 600 applications. The 11-year program, which lasts through college graduation, was designed to not only stem loss but also to move students forward during the summer months.


A version of this report will appear on Tuesday’s NewsHour.

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American Graduate is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis.