The New York Life Foundation Excellence in Summer Learning Award and Founder’s Award recognize outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for low-income children and youth between pre-kindergarten and twelfth grade.

Since 2004, the Excellence in Summer Learning Award program has been a critical strategy of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to support the growth and visibility of high-quality summer learning programs.

In 2015, NSLA introduced the Founder’s Award to further expand its reach and better document outstanding practices of unique informal or drop-in models for summer learning in the field. The awards overall provide a growing knowledge base that NSLA uses to educate policymakers, funders, and the public on best practices and standards of quality for summer learning.

Download the 2017 Award Winners Bulletin

The 2018 winners have been announced!

Aim High
(First Ever Legacy Award)

Breakthrough Miami Summer Institute
(Excellence in Summer Learning Award)

Children’s Circus of Middletown – Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater
(Excellence in Summer Learning Award)

Summer Bridge Program – Princeton-Blairstown Center
(Founder’s Award)

Generation Teach Summer Teaching Fellowship
(Founder’s Award)

Self Enhancement, Inc. Summer Program
(Founder’s Award)

Congratulations to the 2017 Winners!

Camp Good Sam

Excellence in Summer Learning Award Winner

A literature-based theme guides engaging activities that help youth build social skills, foster creativity and realize their potential.  Camp Good Sam provides services to youth through several areas of focus: Supporting Educational Achievement, Exploring College and Career Pathways, Leadership Development and Civic Engagement.

Visit Camp Good Sam


Founder’s Award Winner

Fishing, canoeing…oh the joys of summer! Canoemobile brings classroom learning outside, fostering young environmental stewards and creating pathways to pursue educational and career opportunities in the outdoors. Led by Wilderness Inquiry, the Canoemobile is a collaboration of federal, state, and local partners connecting urban youth to the natural world through hands-on, outdoor learning in cities across America. From San Francisco to the Bronx, communities welcome Canoemobile to serve thousands of youth on their local waterways.

Visit CanoeMobile

SummerBoost Camp

Founder’s Award Winner

School’s out and summer learning is fun for more than 1,300 students at Save the Children’s SummerBoost Camp which aims to break the cycle of rural poverty. From LEGO Robotics to Under the Sea explorations and student-led community service projects, SummerBoost Camp boasts impressive results with 72 percent of regularly participating children showing improved math scores during their time at Summer Boost.

Visit SummerBoost Camp


Founder’s Award Winner

Student choice, creativity and imagination drive this program model and keeps kids engaged through a rigorous curriculum and weekly challenges ranging from the Amazing Race to Space Travel. SummerCollab has seen 1 in 4 of their 1500 campers grow a year or more in phonics reading and 86 percent experienced learning loss reversal.

Visit SummerCollab