Leading Health and Education Experts Share First-Ever Cross-Sector Study on Summertime Experiences

March 9, 2020 • Filed under Press Releases


March 9, 2020

Contact: Laura Johnson
Vice President, Communications


Why Summers Matter for America’s Young People: Leading Health and Education Experts
Share First-Ever Cross-Sector Study on Summertime Experiences

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Across the country, summer program enrollment is kicking off, local camps and community swimming pools are staffing up and millions of working families will soon tackle the difficult task of finding high-quality, affordable summer care solutions. Ask educators in any part of the country and they will tell you there is no debate: summers matter and “offer opportunities for social and academic growth, but can also put disadvantaged children at risk for worse outcomes,” according to the first cross-sector report, Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth,recently released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS).

At this event, co-hosted by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and national partners, esteemed health, education and policy experts will share key insights on the investments, programs and policies critical to improving conditions for children and families during the summer months. Registration is required. One-on-one interviews with reporters will be available.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

8:00am – Networking Breakfast

8:30am – Opening Remarks by: Karl Alexander, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, John Dewey Professor of Sociology Emeritus –nationally renowned researcher and sociologist who coined the term “summer slide;” Revathi Kunnath, Alumna of The School of the New York Times High School Summer Academy, followed by NAS report findings and panel discussion, moderated by Joseph P. Williams, Senior Editor, U.S. News & World Report.

National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, 13th Floor
4th Estate Restaurant, Washington, DC 20045

  • NAS recommendations aimed at improving availability, access, and equity of summertime programs
  • Federal funding implications for summer and afterschool programs
  • Role of summer internships & youth employment in workforce development and summer safety
  • Free summer meals making a difference
  • Awareness and advocacy to empower families in the summertime
  • Special announcement of a nationwide contest by the School of the New York Times


  • American Camp Association: Laurie Brown, PhD, Director of Research
  • American Camp Association: Tom Rosenberg, President and CEO
  • Afterschool Alliance: Erik Peterson, Senior Vice President of Policy
  • Boston Afterschool and Beyond: Chris Smith, President and CEO
  • Clear Channel Outdoor: Jason King, Senior Vice President
  • Food Research and Action Center: Crystal FitzSimons, Director of School and Out-of-School Time Programs
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Institution: Rachel Thornton, M.D., PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Learning Heroes: David Park, Senior Vice President, Communications & Strategy
  • National League of Cities: Bela Shah Spooner, Program Director, Afterschool. Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
  • National Summer Learning Association: Aaron Philip Dworkin, CEO
  • The Fresh Air Fund: Roberto Gil, Deputy Director Camping and Year-round Programs


About the National Summer Learning Association

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works in summer learning, develops and delivers community capacity-building offerings and convenes and empowers key actors to embrace summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. For more information, visit summerlearning.org.