Bridging the Gaps

May 22, 2020 • Filed under News

How educators, organizations, and communities can work within current guidelines to provide enriching summer learning opportunities for students

By: Emily Boudreau

Delivering high-quality summer learning and enrichment opportunities for students has never seemed more critical — but how can it happen, as the coronavirus crisis continues to play out? School closures have altered the learning landscape this spring, leading to fears of unprecedented learning loss. High school and college students, too, find themselves at home without summer employment or internships. However, the summer has always provided a space to innovate and to offer students additional support — promising partnerships and resources may allow this summer to continue to do so.

A little bit of imagination may be necessary to help summer programming comply with guidelines and best practices. To reimagine the summer learning space for current times, the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) has formed a task force with 25 other organizations with expertise in everything from policy to technology to student health and wellness. The task force has started to share ideas in the form of a webinar series where experts from all parts of the sector come together to discuss issues ranging from arts enrichment to social-emotional learning in a distance setting.

“We’re in a traumatic, unprecedented time but there are so many organizations at the federal and national level, at the state level and community level with tremendous resources,” says the organization’s CEO, Aaron Dworkin. “What we’re trying to do is take the best recommendations and examples of what works and provide guidance to communities for the summer.”

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