National Summer Learning Initiative
A $15,000 grant from the Staples Foundation for Learning Inc. will enable the Center for Summer Learning at The Johns Hopkins University to coordinate the first national Summer Learning Day in July 2004. The partnership will be announced at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Brehms Lane Elementary School, 3536 Brehms Lane in Baltimore.
The event is designed to focus attention on the issue of summer learning loss and build support for a broad range of programs that will send kids back to school after summer break ready to learn, said Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning.
"The overarching goal of Summer Learning Day is to mobilize public support to ensure that no child takes a vacation from learning during the summer months," Fairchild said. "The event is also designed to further position the Center for Summer Learning as a national resource for best practices, policy, and research on summer learning."
"Learning loss during the summer is a prevalent issue in education today," said Joy Errico from Staples Foundation for Learning. "The Center for Summer Learning is a terrific program with proven results in minimizing the negative effects of summers off. Children who participate in these programs have a tremendous head start in the school year."
The Center for Summer Learning will encourage community-based organizations in at least 100 cities and towns across the country to host local Summer Learning Days in their communities. Fairchild envisions that the events will showcase exemplary summer learning programs in an effort to increase public support and awareness of how summer learning opportunities can benefit children, families, and communities. The Staples Foundation grant will pay for the development and distribution of Summer Learning Day materials, as well as an online event planning toolkit for participants.
The Center for Summer Learning develops, evaluates, and disseminates model summer learning programs, stimulates research, and builds public support for summer learning. Since 1992, the Center's Teach Baltimore Summer Academy program has provided educational summer programs to more than 2,000 students in Baltimore City public schools. Teach Baltimore has recruited and trained 287 students from 45 colleges and universities across the United States to serve as instructors. In the past three years, 21 alumni of the program have accepted full-time teaching positions in Baltimore City.
Launched in August of 2002, Staples Foundation for Learning Inc. is a private foundation created by Staples Inc. to provide funding to charitable programs that support or provide job training or educational opportunities to all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. To date, Staples Foundation for Learning has awarded almost $2 million dollars in grants to non-profit organizations and is a national sponsor of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This is the second grant from the Staples Foundation for Learning to the Center for Summer Learning. In April, the foundation invested $11,550 in the center's Teach Baltimore program.
For more information about the foundation or how to apply for a grant, please visit www.staplesfoundation.org. For information about the Center for Summer Learning, contact Amy Cowles at 410-516-7160, or visit www.summerlearning.org.
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