School’s Out: Let’s Celebrate Learning and Reading All Summer

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National Summer Learning Week, July 10-14, 2023

Summer has arrived and parents and caregivers have plans for their children – attending day programs and overnight camps, spending time with family and friends, and more. Each of these experiences are learning opportunities and summer is an important time to keep children from losing what they learned during the school year. 

Summer Learning Week

We’re celebrating summer fun and learning, while preparing for Summer Learning Week, July 10-14. Summer Learning Week is a great time to be a superhero to raise awareness and take action to ensure children return to school ready to succeed. 

Do you work with children over the summer and during school breaks? NCECF’s Summer Learning Toolkit can help you to communicate and engage with parents and share tips for summer learning through everyday activities. The messages for parents are available in English and Spanish. 

Download the Toolkit to find: 

  • A slide presentation with talking points for program staff to learn about the importance of summer learning and how they can contribute,
  • An Action Plan template for program providers to map out tactics to engage parents every week,
  • Three newsletter posts,
  • 24 social media posts with photos and graphics,
  • Bonus social posts promoting supporting regular school attendance,
  • 24 text messages, 
  • Suggestions for celebrating Summer Learning Week, and
  • Summer Learning Week stickers 

We were excited to get some inspiration from Dr. Anthony Jackson, superintendent of Chatham County, NC Schools about why summer learning is so important for children to get a strong start when they return to school. Share his message of encouragement. 

The National Summer Learning Association’s 2023 summer themes can also help you to create program activities focused on:

  • Love of Literacy & Learning
  • Amazing Arts
  • Wonders of Wellness, Health & Sports
  • STEM
  • Community & Leadership

Grade-Level Reading Week

We’re also celebrating National Grade-Level Reading Week, the following week: July 17-21. NCECF is the state lead for the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an organization that supports nationwide efforts to ensure children from under-resourced communities are prepared for academic success. 

According to the National Assessment for Educational Progress, in 2021/2022, only 32% of NC 4th graders scored at or above proficiency in reading. Disaggregated data shows: white students – 44%; Black students – 17%; Hispanic students –  21% and Asian students – 56%.

Since 2015, the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation has served as the state lead for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in North Carolina. The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has mobilized hundreds of communities across the country to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It is a collaborative effort by foundations, non-profit organizations, business leaders and government agencies supporting children’s school readiness, summer learning and regular school attendance. We convene and support 13 NC communities in their literacy initiatives. 

During Grade-Level Reading Week, communities across the country are spotlighting their work to advance school success and accelerate equitable recovery from the pandemic. Bright Spots and Silver Linings will feature virtual opportunities for organizations focused on literacy and funders and community leaders to learn about innovative and promising strategies to help ensure children are proficient readers when they finish third grade.

It’s summer. Let’s keep our children safe, healthy and learning so they return to school strong and ready to succeed! 

Keep in Touch with NCEF and Support Our Work

We’d love to hear your ideas on how to continue to utilize this tool to support the success of all children across North Carolina. Celebrate the fun and success of every day learning with us at NCECF both this summer and all year round!

Please be sure to subscribe to our biweekly newsletter to keep up with our work helping the lives of North Carolina families, from their earliest days. 

The NC Early Childhood Foundation is driven by a bold – and achievable – vision: Each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for life-long health, education, and well-being supported by a comprehensive, equitable birth-to-eight ecosystem. We build understanding, lead collaboration, and advance policies to ensure each North Carolina child is on track for lifelong success by the end of third grade.