Summer Changes Everything™ in Phoenix, Arizona

National Conference

Summer Changes Everything™ 2017

Summer Changes Everything™, a national conference devoted entirely to summer learning and afterschool, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona from October 23-25, 2017.

Registration is now open for Summer Changes Everything™. Register today!
Conference Location

Hyatt Regency Phoenix
122 N 2nd Street
Phoenix, AZ, 85004, United States

About the Conference

Research confirms summer as one of the most inequitable times of the year for millions of young people in America and this year’s theme, We’ve Got the Power!, captures the critical work underway to change that.

We’ve Got the Power! calls upon our collective will and the leadership of legions of educators, community members and corporate leaders to step up, speak out and stand in the gap for our nation’s children. We can’t wait to see you at Summer Changes Everything™!

At this year’s conference, you’ll have the opportunity to join workshops focused on four strands:

  • Effective Learning Approaches
  • Systems Building
  • Program Planning
  • Policy & Advocacy

Registration is now open! Reserve your spot by August 15 and save $50!

Pre-conference (Monday, October 23) registration will be available soon.

2-Day Conference Registration (Oct. 24-25) Pricing
Early Bird $475
National Summer Learning Day Special
Now – July 20
Summer Rate – Tier 2
July 21 – August 15
Regular Rate – Tier 3
August 16 – October 12
Onsite Rate – Tier 4
October 13 – Onsite
1-Day Conference Registration $395

Exhibitors and Sponsors

Exhibit or become a sponsor at Summer Changes Everything™!

Summer Changes Everything™ provides the opportunity to showcase your products and services to more than 700 program managers, administrators, youth workers, teachers, school district leaders, researchers and policy makers from across the country.

Join the National Summer Learning Association in Phoenix, October 23 – 25, 2017 for the opportunity to:

Expand Access

Promote your products and services to key decision makers in the out-of-school time field

Build Awareness

Network with participants during the two-day conference
Click here to become an exhibitor or contact Ryan Berlin at to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to the Summer Times eBulletin to keep updated on our 2017 Summer Changes Everything™ conference.

2016 Conference Highlights

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) joined School’s Out Washington (SOWA) to present, Dare to Disrupt! The Pathway to Excellence and Equity in Education, October 24-26, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

This national conference on afterschool and summer learning brought together over 1,000 of the nation’s top thinkers to share and discuss the partnerships, policies and programs that are breaking down traditional notions of when and where learning occurs.

NSLA and SOWA would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors whose support helped make this the most successful, interactive conference to date.

We look forward to seeing you at our Summer Changes Everything™ conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 23-25, 2017!

If you attended Dare to Disrupt! in 2016, please fill out the evaluation forms to the sessions you have attended. We want to make sure Summer Changes Everything™ meets your expectations and beyond!

Opening General Session Panel
Opening General Session

NSLA’s CEO, Sarah Pitcock and SOWA’s CEO, Mari Offenbecher kicked off this year’s national conference on afterschool and summer learning with an opening session featuring an inspiring and honest conversation about the role of municipal leaders, media and corporate America in disrupting existing systems to support more positive outcomes for young people in our nation.

  • Hyeok Kim, Deputy Mayor of Seattle
  • Carla Santorno, Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools
  • Nicole Stein, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Umpqua Bank
Opening General Session Panel
New York Life Foundation Excellence in Summer Learning Awards
conf 2016 EA iHeart

Special thanks to our corporate champion, iHeartMedia, Inc.

We celebrated the success of five high-quality summer programs for winning the New York Life Foundation Excellence in Summer Learning Award and the Founder’s Award:

  • Engaging Creative Minds: The Summer STEAM Institute (Excellence Award)
  • The Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program at Punahou School (Excellence Award)
  • Wayne State University’s Math Corps (Excellence Award)
  • Consolidated School District of New Britain: Summer Enrichment Experience (Excellence Award)
  • Big Thought’s Dallas City of Learning (Founder’s Award)

Apply for the 2017 Excellence Award or Founder’s Award to show off your program to a national audience at the 2017 Summer Changes Everything™ conference! Applications are due on February 1, 2017.

Opening General Session Panel
Youth Sparks

We heard from dynamic first-time voters sharing their hopes for the future of our country and the future of education in a panel discussion moderated by Amity Addrisi, news reporter and anchor at KING-TV (NBC Seattle – Tacoma) featuring:

  • Tavin Dotson, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Washington State YMCA Youth & Government program
  • Hikma Sherka, Youth Organizer with the King County Youth Advisory Council
  • Cris Romero, Youth Organizer with the King County Youth Advisory Council
Opening General Session Panel
Dr. Shawn Ginwright

Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D., a leading national expert on African American youth activism and development serving as the Senior Research Associate at the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy as well as Associate Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University told us about his incredible adventure through Richmond and how they are helping youth stay in a safe environment while bringing down the rate of violence.

Dr. Ginwright taught us about practices that build hope and healing in our nation’s youth communities and left the stage with a standing ovation from the entire audience in the ballroom.

2016 Featured Speakers

Sarah Pitcock, CEO at NSLA
Sarah Pitcock 2016Sarah joined the Center for Summer Learning in 2006 and held progressive leadership roles in research and training prior to being appointed CEO of the National Summer Learning Association in 2013. Sarah is a leading expert on summer learning research, practice and policy.

Tavin Dotson is an active delegate in the Washington State YMCA Youth & Government program. He serves as the Speaker Pro Tempore for the statewide legislative conference. Outside of Youth & Government he works at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and does technical theater support with the Juan de Fuca Foundation of the Arts in Port Angeles. Post high school, Tavin plans on attending the University of Washington to earn a Bachelors of the Fine Arts degree in theater, and eventually a Master’s in Stage Management.

Hikma Sherka, 19, is born and raised in Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States when she was 11 years old. She is currently completing her Associates of Arts degree at Seattle Central College with a goal to transfer to a 4-year University and pursue a career as a civil rights attorney. Hikma, strongly believes that all who has the right to vote must vote, “The first thing I did when I turned 18 was fill out my voter registration form. Not too long ago, being Black and being a woman would have prevented me from voting. Today, being Black and a woman are the reasons why I vote.” When Hikma is not in school, she volunteers and teaches at her Mosque and serves as Youth Board Vice President. In addition, she is a youth organizer with the King County Youth Advisory Council, learning, engaging and organizing with her peers to address barriers that young people face in their communities.

Cris Romero, 21, is working on his AA degree to transfer off to CWU in order to pursue a career in Aviation as a commercial pilot. “I am honored, privileged, but above all blessed to be a part of the Latino & LGBT community and certainly proud to be voting for the very first time.” With many volunteer hours logged for numerous organizations including the King County Youth Advisory, Service Employees International Union local 775, the city of Seattle, and Christian Faith Center, Cris is determined to continue to bring more work & service into his communities. Volunteering has brought much insight and happiness that it has even made him consider working in public service in the near future. He’s optimistic about the advancement of this country that our next president will bring.

Amity Addrisi, Journalist at KING TV (NBC Seattle - Tacoma)
Amity Addrisi came to KING from California where she built her career working in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Bakersfield. As an Emmy Award winning journalist with over a decade of experience she’s uncovered injustice through her investigative reporting, gotten up close and personal with many California wildfires and covered stories that captivated the nation, including the Jaycee Lee Dugard case.

Unlike many of her peers Amity did not study communications or broadcasting in college; instead she fell in love with journalism during an internship at KNBC, Los Angeles. Amity received her B.S. in English Literature at the University of California, at Los Angeles where she also studied Geology.

Her passion for Earth Science was a driving factor for settling in the Pacific Northwest. She finds the complexities of the regional geology both fascinating and important in regards to education and preparation.

When she’s not at work, she has her hands full with her busy toddler and husband. Amity and her family have chosen the Pacific Northwest as a place to grow roots and have already fallen in love with the people and surrounding beauty.

Hyeok Kim, Deputy Mayor of Seattle
Hyeok Kim is Deputy Mayor for the City of Seattle focused on external and community relations. She was appointed to this position by Mayor Ed Murray in January 2014, becoming the first Asian American woman to hold such a position in Seattle’s history. Deputy Mayor Kim is responsible for helping to develop and promote meaningful connections and relationships between the Mayor’s office and city government with the diverse neighborhoods and communities of Seattle, and with state, federal, and international partners. She also leads special projects and strategic initiatives on the Mayor’s behalf.

Before joining the Murray Administration, she was Executive Director of InterIm Community Development Association (InterIm CDA), a nonprofit affordable housing and community development corporation based in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District. Prior to that, she was a senior policy analyst for Speaker of the House Frank Chopp and the House Democratic Caucus in the Washington State Legislature, where she staffed affordable housing, human services, foster care, welfare and workforce development, and early learning issues.

Over the past decade and a half, Deputy Mayor Kim has volunteered extensively in the community and in civic life. She is a former Commissioner on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (2010-2013), which is part of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She has served on the Boards of the Northwest Area Foundation, a philanthropic organization that serves an eight-state region with a mission to alleviate poverty, and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD). In 2010, she was selected as a Marshall Memorial Fellow and in 2010-2011, she was a Casey Fellow through the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship Program.

Deputy Mayor Kim is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of five. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest where she and her family lived in publicly-subsidized housing through much of her childhood and adolescence. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband.

Nicole Stein, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Umpqua Bank
As Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Umpqua Bank, Nicole Stein has been instrumental in creating innovative community engagement programs that position Umpqua as a leader in its markets.

During the fall of 2003, Stein launched Umpqua’s Connect Volunteer Network, an inventive community outreach program that provides all full-time employees with an annual allotment of 40 hours of paid time off during the workday to volunteer at a youth or community development-related nonprofit organization of their choosing. Since 2003, Stein has grown the program to include on average 75% annual participation by associates and a record 53,000 hours of volunteered community service time in 2015. The program is also one of the most attributed factors FORTUNE magazine cited for including Umpqua on its list of “100 Best Companies To Work For”.

In addition to Connect, Stein is the Managing Director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, Umpqua primary investment effort designed to uphold Umpqua Bank’s financial commitment to its communities. Recognizing the strong connection between educational attainment and economic prosperity, the Foundation aims to improve outcomes for children by advancing youth development and education initiatives and creating economic opportunity. Annually, she oversees more than $3 million in contributions and community sponsorships throughout the Umpqua footprint.

Additionally, Stein developed the Associate Giving Campaign, which allows associates to make nonprofit donations through regularly scheduled payroll deductions. In 2015, this included an additional $500,000 to nonprofit organizations.

With Stein at the helm, Umpqua’s community efforts have earned several awards, including the Oregon Governor’s Volunteer Award for Outstanding Volunteer Program, Oregon School Board Association Salute to Success Award and E3 Catalyst Award.

Stein is also an active member of the Program Committee for Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington and an advisory council member for Portland’s A Home for Everyone initiative.

Before joining Umpqua Bank in 2002, Stein attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and studied biology and psychology. She also spent a year in Japan teaching English to high school students through the Japan Exchange Teaching Programme. She holds a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from Portland State University and a Certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Dr. Shawn Ginwright, Senior Research Associate at the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy
Dr. Shawn Ginwright is a leading national expert on African American youth activism and development, who serves as the Senior Research Associate at the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy as well as Associate Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University. Dr. Ginwright is the author of “Hope and Healing in Urban Education” and “Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America.”
Ann Dornfeld, Education Reporter at KUOW Public Radio
Ann Dornfeld covers education for KUOW.

She previously worked as a roving freelance public radio reporter, focusing on environmental issues, for KUOW and national shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Environment Report and Marketplace. Ann has reported on a rare bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, penguin habitat loss in South Africa, mangrove destruction in the U.S. Virgin Islands, coral reef conservation in Bonaire and invasive lionfish in the Bahamas. She covered a major earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, for NPR News and The World.

Before that, Ann was a reporter and Morning Edition host at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon, and had internships at KUOW and Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start spinning hip-hop records at the radio station of Oregon State University, where she majored in biology and environmental sciences.

She has won awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, The Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Ann has received both investigative and data reporting awards from the Education Writers Association for her coverage of ongoing recess cutbacks and physical education shortages in Seattle-area schools.

Yolie Flores, Chief Program Officer at the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Yolie Flores 2016Yolie Flores serves as Chief Program Officer for The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and leads the work on School Readiness and Successful Parents. Ms. Flores supports over 240 communities in their efforts to ensure that more children from low-income families are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Ms. Flores also served as Vice President of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education where she led efforts to challenge the culture of failure for children from low-income families and children of color.
Carla Santorno, Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools
Carla Santorno is currently the Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools. She worked in the deputy role for Tacoma for two years before taking the superintendent position. Carla got her start in education in Denver, Colorado. Born in Kansas, Mrs. Santorno attended Denver Public Schools, where she later spent 28 years of her career as a teacher, principal and area superintendent. Prior to coming to Tacoma, she worked as the chief academic officer for the Seattle School District.

Carla’s primary goal as superintendent is to increase student achievement. She stays close to teachers and strives to provide them the support they need to effectively educate Tacoma’s students. Connecting with all the players in the district – from parents to teachers, food service workers, bus drivers and custodial staff, is a part of her vision to create an aligned focus from classroom to classroom, and school to school.

Under Carla’s leadership, Tacoma Public Schools has initiated unique partnerships which have positive results for the Tacoma school community. The partnership with the Tacoma Housing Authority has provided housing vouchers for students at a low income, high mobility elementary school. The vouchers are tied to parent engagement and housing stability. Partnerships with three local four year colleges and universities, both public and private, have yielded gap financial funding for qualified low income students, priority admission to education programs with guaranteed teacher interviews at graduation from college, and a whole child district initiative designed to provide a sustainable system for insuring high quality social emotional learning for students PK-12.

Policy work with the Tacoma Board of Directors has resulted in a strong strategic plan with high, but achievable benchmarks. Progress is outlined on a quarterly basis. An advanced data system and a strong project management office insures transparency regarding that progress. All results are posted on the Tacoma Public School website.

Finally, Carla has strong, solid, urban experience, and has had success in raising student achievement. Tacoma’s graduation rate for the Class of 2015 reached 82.6 percent – the highest since the state began tracking that statistic in 2003 and the fifth straight year of gains. Carla believes in strong communication and community connection. The first person in her family to graduate from high school, she has learned personally how powerful education can be, and wants to ensure that all children have the same opportunities.