While summer provides a time of tremendous opportunity, it is also a time of significant inequities for many children and youth. Today, the Urban Libraries Council, in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association, issues a Call to Action on Equity in Summer Learning. Libraries, partners and supporters are called to sign the Statement on Summer Learning, which serves as a baseline for building policies and actions that make our communities more inclusive and just.
The statement reads as follows:
As public library leaders, we are resolved to bring about educational and social equity by contributing to a more just structure where all youth can realize their full potential. As an integral part of the educational ecosystem, public libraries’ summer learning programs play a crucial role in equitably reaching all children through intentional, systemic and transformative library-school-community partnerships.
The Urban Libraries Council, through the U.S. Department of Education Engage Every Student Initiative and in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association, calls libraries to advance equity through expanded summer learning programs targeted to historically excluded youth. ULC invites libraries to commit to engaging every child in high-quality summer learning by:
- Signing ULC’s Statement on Summer Learning
- Identifying youth who have been historically excluded from summer learning because of race, ability, language, access or any other factor.
- Creating a particularized plan for your library and the identified community by using ULC resources and national best practices.
- Providing high-quality summer learning through learning activities tied to STEM and literacy.
Libraries are trusted, venerable and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in bringing about educational equity. We invite you to join ULC and library leaders nationally as we come together to amplify summer success for all children!
"We are excited to announce that this vital initiative is going nationwide, and we proudly invite all libraries and library partners and supporters to sign on to amplify equity in summer learning,” said ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater. “Summer learning programming at the library is critical for reaching more kids in more ways and in more places during the summer months – especially those from low-income communities who may not have access to other learning opportunities. We are grateful to our longtime partners NSLA for their support in reinforcing the library as a place in the community for equity and inclusion.”
"We are happy to expand our collaboration with the Urban Libraries Council in this critical moment for kids recovering from the negative effects of the pandemic." said Aaron P. Dworkin, CEO, NSLA. "Through this partnership, we will support our most vulnerable students by promoting equity, creating new learning opportunities, and building communities through robust local school/library partnerships."
Libraries, partners and supporters may sign on to this initiative online at ULC’s website. Signees will receive an ongoing suite of resources dedicated to amplifying equity in summer learning, including a boot camp of webinars, benchmarks, a toolkit and other resources to support the expansion of equity in summer 2023 programming. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number LG-250115-OLS-21.