About NSLA

NSLA’s vision is that all children and youth have access to high-quality summer learning experiences to help them succeed in college, career and life.
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing summer learning opportunities for all youth. NSLA offers expertise and support for programs and communities and advocates for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education.

What is NSLA Doing to Solve the Problem?


Expanding Access

NSLA works closely with communities to develop and expand engaging and enriching summer learning to the young people who need it the most. NSLA also collaborates with summer learning programs to improve their offerings.

Building Awareness

Through partnerships with national organizations serving communities, media outreach and grassroots initiatives, NSLA builds awareness of the need to keep all kids learning, safe and healthy.

Strengthening Policy

NSLA convenes leaders across the country and actively advocates at the local, state and federal level for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education.

When communities are equipped to support the whole child for the whole year, they are healthier, safer, and smarter.

What We Know

High-quality summer learning programs have been shown to improve reading and math skills, school attachment, motivation and relationships with adults and peers.
Summer learning can be cost-effective and targeted to support the young people who need it the most.
Summer learning can happen anytime, anywhere and can make a difference. For example, educational technology provides children online books and tracks reading gains during the summer.

Policy at a Glance

As the national leader on summer learning and its role in education reform, NSLA tracks and responds to policy issues that affect summer learning at the federal, state, and local levels. Working hand-in-hand with coalition partners, policymakers, and local advocates, NSLA provides expertise, tools and resources on a number of policy issues that include 21st Century Community Learning Centers, summer meals, community service and service learning, STEM education, and funding opportunities for summer programs.

NSLA’s policy priorities focus on maximizing available resources through partnerships and improved efficiencies, sustainability of summer initiatives, and improved use of data to target summer opportunities to the youth most in need.

Subscribe to the policy Common Grounds group or follow NSLA on Twitter to keep track of our policy efforts.

2016 State Policy Summer Snapshot

Our Services

NSLA believes quality matters across the entire ecosystem of supports, programs and services for young people.

With an eye toward building the skills, knowledge and behaviors that promote academic success and healthy development of young people, NSLA’s experts in Programs and Systems Quality have worked with school districts, summer learning providers and funders across the country to help shape smarter summers, brighter futures for young people. Contact us at Mlogan@summerlearning.org to learn about our portfolio of services and trainings.

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Excellence in Summer Learning

Every year, NSLA awards the New York Life Foundation Excellence in Summer Learning Award and the Founder’s Award to outstanding summer programs or models that support academic achievement and promote healthy development for young people between pre-kindergarten and twelfth grade. Since 2004, the Awards have supported the growth and visibility of top-quality summer learning programs across the country. See the 2016 award-winning summer learning programs here.

Apply for the 2017 New York Life Foundation Excellence in Summer Learning Award here and the Founder’s Award here. Applications are due on February 1, 2017.

For more information, contact Monica Logan, VP of Program and Systems Quality at mlogan@summerlearning.org or at (410) 856-1370 ext. 300.

Group Planting

Our Team

NSLA Board

Margaret McKenna

Board Chair

Past President

Suffolk University

Jim Quinn


President (Retired)

Tiffany & Company

Dan Anglin



Prince Henry

Karl Alexander

Academy Professor and
Sociology Research Professor

Johns Hopkins University

Richard Berlin

Executive Director

Harlem RBI

Dan Levi

Executive VP and
Chief Marketing Officer

Clear Channel

Lindsey Schmidt


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Malbert Smith, III



Joost Thesseling

Managing Director

CI Capital Partners LLC

Leadership Team

Matthew Boulay

Founder, Interim CEO

As an undergraduate at the Johns Hopkins University in 1992, Matthew founded a non-profit summer education initiative, Teach Baltimore, which has grown from a hands-on program for Baltimore youth into the National Summer Learning Association.

Maleka Lawrence

Chief Operating Officer

Email Maleka
410-856-1370 x401

Maleka leads and coordinates many of NSLA’s efforts, playing a key role in executing the organization’s strategic plan, ensuring sound operations systems and leading day-to-day fiscal and administrative operations (including finance, development and human resources).


Laura Johnson

VP of Communications

Email Laura
410-856-1370 x208

Laura leads the overall communications strategy to support the NSLA’s mission as the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities.


Monica Logan

VP of Program and Systems Quality

Email Monica
410-856-1370 x300

Monica has lead responsibility for the development and implementation of all organizational activities that support the expansion of high-quality summer learning opportunities.



Ryan Berlin

Director of Events and Sales

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Email Ryan
410-856-1370 x203

Ryan directs planning for NSLA events including the annual Summer Changes Everything™ national conference.

Leslie Gabay-Swanston

Director of Program and Systems Building

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Email Leslie
410-856-1370 x204

Leslie is responsible for translating NSLA’s strategic priorities into services, projects and partnerships that strengthen summer learning programs and build capacity for providers, intermediaries and communities.

Rachel Gwaltney

Director of Policy and Partnerships

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Email Rachel
410-856-1370 x107

Rachel leads development and implementation of services, projects, and partnerships that strengthen summer learning policy and build capacity of state and national leaders and organizations.

Dana Hammond

Manager of Program and Systems Quality

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Email Dana
410-856-1370 x225

Dana implements projects and initiatives focused on evaluating and improving the quality of summer learning programs and systems. Her major areas of work include designing, managing and conducting formative evaluations, quality assessment projects, and trainings as well as identifying and translating best practices into professional development products and services.

Tyler Mattingly

Marketing Communications Coordinator

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Email Tyler
410-856-1370 x403

Tyler supports the implementation of marketing communications and media strategies for the organization and maintains key communications assets such as social media and NSLA’s websites.