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Discover the Power of Summer Learning

Blog Feature 4

School might be out for the summer, but there are still tons of opportunities for kids to keep learning and developing their skills for the year ahead. ULC libraries serve as essential summer learning leaders in their communities, providing active learning opportunities for children, youth and families during this critical time when schools are closed and the risk of falling behind is high. Discover how ULC, our partners and our member libraries are encouraging kids across the nation to stay engaged during the summer.

Celebrating National Summer Learning Week

Did you know the National Summer Learning Association sets aside one week each year to acknowledge the importance of summer learning? National Summer Learning Week “is a celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school ready to succeed in the year.” Thanks to ULC member libraries, ULC was able to provide data for NSLA’s national program locator that includes ULC member libraries’ summer learning programs. Additionally, National Summer Learning Week is a time when high-quality programs are promoted across the country.

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In partnership with NSLA, ULC will be highlighted in both pre-conference and conference track sessions at this year’s NSLA annual conference in October, themed “Summer Changes Everything.” The work of our Building Equity: Amplify Summer Learning Cohort, funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and with the support of NSLA and the National Recreation and Park Association, will be showcased as ULC helps to develop national training models of equitable summer learning and deeper STEM outcomes based on trainings from our partner, Discovery World Science Museum in Milwaukee, Wis.

"Cedar Rapids Public Library is using the opportunity of participating in this IMLS grant to intentionally think about who we reach and how we build equity through our summer camps."

- Kevin Delecki, Programming Manager Youth Services

The Building Equity: Amplify Summer Learning initiative supports engaging learning opportunities for middle school youth in summertime who have historically been excluded from STEM opportunities (e.g., based on race, income, gender, ability). Building on the success of ULC’s Partners for Middle School STEM initiative and the hard work of our first learning cohort libraries, the goal of Building Equity: Amplify Summer Learning is to position libraries as critical community anchors for learning, accelerate the public library’s role in summer and reinforce the library as a place in the community for equity and inclusion.

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ULC Member Libraries Kicking Off Summer Learning

ULC member libraries have officially started their 2022 summer learning programs to encourage their communities to read over the summer. Below are just a few of the stories of how member libraries are connecting with their communities.

  • New Orleans Public Library is offering bingo cards to track summer reading and free event programming all summer long for community members to celebrate SUMMER FUN. Participants of all ages can fill out an achievement tracker to be entered in prize raffles for every 200 minutes they read.
  • To celebrate Brooklyn Public Library’s 125th anniversary this summer, the library is hosting activities, virtual and in-person programs and featuring a booklist of 125 titles they love. Most books on the list are available in digital formats and a full schedule of the summer can be found on the library's events calendar.
  • Participants in Montgomery County Public Library’s summer reading program can read books, complete activities and attend library programs to help save the Chesapeake Bay. For every four books or activities a child completes during the summer, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will plant trees along the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library is encouraging community members to take on their Summer Dare of reading 600 minutes over the course of the summer to earn a free book coupon. Each participant will receive a free Summer Dare journal to track their progress.
  • Participants in Vaughan Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Club can earn weekly badges and ballots in the prize draw for completing reading challenges. The library is sponsoring programs all summer long like the Superstar Storytellers Summer Series and multilingual events during their Foodie Fun themed week.

Check out our thread on Twitter to learn more about our member programs this summer from across the U.S. and Canada.

National Summer Learning Week PSA from Dr. Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education

About the Building Equity: Amplify Summer Learning Initiative

Funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and with the support of our partners — the National Summer Learning Association, the National Recreation and Park Association and STEM expert Bryan Wunar — ULC and its strategic partners will work with the learning cohort to design and implement quality STEM summer programming.

Click here to learn more >

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