On November 12-14, 2018, the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) presented Summer Changes Everything™ in Kansas City, Missouri. This year we celebrated 25 years of making summers matter.

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A Vision for a Summer Learning Sea Change

On the occasion of NSLA's 25th anniversary, a new vision is emerging around how we collectively harness the power of summer to help every child grow. This State of the Field address reflected on where we’ve been as a field and celebrated the country’s most exemplary summer programs offering a new blueprint for a summer learning sea change in America.

Hill Harper, J.D. (Keynote)

This year's keynote address was presented by Hill Harper, J.D., an award-winning actor, currently starring as Dr. Marcus Andrews on TV’s #1 new drama The Good Doctor on ABC. Harper has earned seven NAACP Image Awards for his writing and acting and is a 4-time New York Times best-selling author. His most recent book is the groundbreaking "Letters to an Incarcerated Brother."

Shaping Inclusive Practices for Every Child

Miss USA 2017, Miss Teen USA 2017, and a movie producer of over 20 films shine a light on special populations of students and what’s needed to shape inclusive, welcoming summer opportunities specifically for foster children, students with varying abilities, and girls of color in STEM.

Youth Sparks!

Attendees enjoyed two inspiring performances by the Kansas City Young Audiences' Main Street Theatre and Dance Troops and a thought-provoking plenary discussion that captured the voices, passions, and ideas of young people around why summers really matter.