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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 30, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 32
Center Launches Campaign to Publicly Fund Summer Learning

The Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins has announced the launch of a national fund-raising and education campaign to generate $50 million in public investment for summer learning programs.

A grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies will fund the center's initial outreach efforts, which will include advancing summer learning as a key policy priority across the nation. The campaign will further the center's mission to fundamentally transform awareness of and access to summer learning programs for disadvantaged youth in the United States.

Research consistently shows that all young people — and particularly those from low-income families — face significant risk of losing ground academically over the summer months, said Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning, a part of the university's School of Education. The center's new campaign is intended to improve access to high-quality summer learning opportunities for young people in impoverished communities by increasing and best leveraging public funding for youth programs.

In addition to encouraging comprehensive funding for high-quality summer learning programs, the center will work closely with school districts to strengthen policies and practices related to summer learning programs, provide training and management assistance to organizations operating summer programs and engage a growing national network of exemplary summer program providers in an effort to build public support for quality programs.

"High-quality, enriching summer experiences are something many families are able to take for granted," Fairchild said. "We are launching this national campaign to ensure that every child who needs high-quality summer learning will receive it and benefit from it, regardless of his or her socioeconomic status.

"We will work to get the STEP UP Act in the United States Senate and similar pieces of legislation approved to guarantee the funding of these programs, which serve as the foundation for the future success of our most vulnerable yet promising young people," said Fairchild, who will manage the campaign.

The three-year $2.5 million grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies will allow the campaign to begin immediately, Fairchild said. The center plans to raise another $7.5 million to bolster its efforts.

Founded in 1992, the Center for Summer Learning has a proven track record of developing, evaluating and promoting programs that improve student achievement and youth development. Over the past 15 years, the center has grown from operating a local program serving 50 children to become the only national organization focused exclusively on summer learning.

Last year, the center helped generate more than $12 million of public investment in programs that reached more than 25,000 children and youth in three states. In addition, the center provided training to more than 1,000 summer program providers in 20 states that collectively serve over 1 million youth.


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