Pre-Conference Sessions

Summer Starts in September: Your Ultimate Planning Guide (Session Is Full)

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM | Monday, October 21

As soon as the most recent summer slips into the past, it is time to start thinking, reflecting, and planning—while summer’s lessons are still fresh in your mind, easy to retrieve, and awaiting your evaluation. Let us help you get started with NSLA’s Summer Starts in September program planning guide.

Carefully planned summer learning programs provide youth with life-changing experiences, so it is important to begin with the end in mind, establishing definite goals and steps to achieve them. In Part 1 of the Summer Starts in September workshop participants will examine quality standards and share practice ideas for using them in a continuous program improvement cycle. The workshop will make extensive use of the Summer Starts in September program planning guide. The facilitators will model activities and tools that participants can use to plan their summer learning program.

Summer Starts in September: Special Topics (Session Is Full)

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Monday, October 21

Part 2 of the Summer Starts in September workshop will take a deeper dive into tools you can use now in planning your summer program, featuring The Wallace Foundation’s Summer Learning Toolkit. We will examine how to incorporate Academics & Enrichment, develop a Unique Program Culture, and launch a program using the comprehensive Summer Planning Calendar. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with templates, tip sheets, samples, and other resources, and learn how to implement them at home. This is a great follow-up to the Summer Starts in September: Your Ultimate Planning Guide, Part 1, Pre-Conference workshop!

Registration has ended for both SSIS sessions.

Pre-Conference for Library Professionals

Monday, October 21, 8:30-4:00 PM

Public libraries across the country are uniquely positioned to lead the way in helping all kids grow and thrive during the critical summer months. Join the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) at its Summer Changes Everything™ national conference in Atlanta, GA for a day-long session that explores the seismic shift in summer as librarians evolve to create innovative learning environments for diverse learners, community partnerships that make programs sizzle, and data driven practices with quality at the core.

Under the direction of Liz McChesney, Director of Children Services at the award-winning Chicago Public Library, NSLA will convene a cohort of library professionals from across the country who lead summer learning and literacy programs in their communities. Five sessions will combine practical, hands-on training with big picture, strategic discussions.

Highlights and Topics Include:

  • State of Library Summer Learning Programs;
  • Leveraging STEM, Maker Spaces & Engineering;
    Design Challenge
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Summer;
  • Random House Guest Author; and more.
$250 for pre-conference session only w/discount code BOOKWORMGA, $475 for full conference w/discount code BOOKS19

Register Here

Convening for Summer Health and Medical Career Programs

Monday, October 21, 8:30-4:00 PM

In response to low representation of African-Americans, Latinos, and women in medical schools and health careers, dozens of innovative and impactful summer programs have emerged to focus on educating middle and high school students. While these critical programs set a high standard for summer learning, health career and workforce development programs across the U.S, too often they are designed and run by inspiring leaders with minimal connection to similar peer programs.

In partnership with acclaimed programs such as the Merit Health Leadership Academy (Baltimore), Northwestern Medical Scholars Program (Chicago), and Dr. Sylvia James, Deputy Assistant Director at the National Science Foundation, NSLA will convene, connect and offer support, exposure and coordination to these high-quality summer learning programs at our conference.

RSVP here:

Looking for the New Vision for Summer School Meeting (schools and districts only)?

Contact Rachel Gwaltney, Director of Policy and Partnerships at for more information.