“Summer and extended learning are a life-saving experience. That’s not an exaggeration.”
It was a grand statement, especially coming from New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, the leader of the largest school district in the United States. Fariña’s remarks were a fitting opening at the May 19 convening of the New Vision for Summer Schools Network, a national coalition of 30 school districts committed to advancing summer learning. Bringing together community organizations, city and district leaders, policymakers, and funders, the day’s focus was on building systems-level approaches to summer learning to advance both equity and excellence.
During the opening to the event, which was hosted by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) at the Ford Foundation’s headquarters in New York, Chancellor Fariña and others highlighted the benefits of summer learning—among them, stronger reading and vocabulary skills, field trips to new places, mentorship from a caring adult, and the opportunity for “hangout time,” which is of particular value for adolescents.