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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 1, 2003 | Vol. 33 No. 13
Staples Foundation Funds National Summer Learning Initiative

By Amy Cowles

A $15,000 grant from the Staples Foundation for Learning will enable the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins to coordinate the first national Summer Learning Day in July 2004. The partnership was announced on Nov. 19 at Brehms Lane Elementary School in Baltimore.

The event is designed to focus attention on the issue of summer learning loss and to build support for a broad range of programs that will send students 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."

Joy Errico from Staples Foundation for Learning, said, "Learning loss during the summer is a prevalent issue in education today. 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 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 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, and in the past three years, 21 alumni of the program have accepted full-time teaching positions in Baltimore City.

Launched in August 2002, Staples Foundation for Learning is a private foundation created by Staples 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, the foundation has awarded almost $2 million in grants to nonprofit 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, go to For information about the Center for Summer Learning, go to


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