National Summer Learning Association Joins Partnership to Engage Every Student

July 14, 2022 • Filed under Press Releases

National Summer Learning Association Joins Partnership to Engage Every Student

Launch Event a Highlight of Summer Learning Week


Aaron Dworkin –, 917-584-1835

Terri Ferinde –, 202-271-8651

Washington DC U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona today announced that the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) will join dozens of organizations in a new partnership to ensure that all children have access to high-quality learning opportunities outside of school.

Sec. Cardona announced the Engage Every Student Initiative at an event celebrating National Summer Learning Week at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters, where youth and their mentors from across the country described how learning activities are helping their academic progress during the summer. The Secretary encouraged the partnership to take bold action to provide access to high-quality afterschool programs and summer learning activities.

“It is an honor to join other advocates for out-of-school learning to address the critical need to make up for lost learning during the pandemic,” said Aaron Dworkin, the executive director of the National Summer Learning Association. “Through camps, library programs, and other engaging activities, children can continue their learning adventure during the summer and prepare to excel when they return to school in the fall.”

For the new initiative, the U.S. Department of Education will invest $3.4 million to provide best practices in program implementation for summer and out-of-school time. ED’s Institute for Education Sciences will create a new tool to support using evidence to implement afterschool and summer learning activities.

“For decades, researchers have documented the ‘learning loss’ that happens when children are out of school for more than two months as they wait for the next school year to begin,” Dworkin said. “During the pandemic, education researchers have documented similar learning loss in children who attended school in virtual environments for a year or more. Today, out-of-school learning is more important than ever.”

NSLA Programs Address Students’ Needs

This summer, NSLA has created new and innovative ways to help students of all ages extend their learning experiences during the summer months.

More than 30 youth from award-wining summer learning programs were selected to meet this week at the inaugural NSLA Youth Leadership Institute. In the unique program, youth are experiencing the best of summer camp with a focus on social emotional learning; academic success; arts; health & fitness; and service and leadership. The 8th and 9th graders, and their program leaders, met with their congressional leaders on Thursday before meeting with the US Secretary of Education.

Working with the American Camp Association and with the support of the New York Life Foundation, NSLA is supporting a free summer camp experience for children from 10 low-income communities. The camps are partnering with local schools to provide intentional learning programs where students develop life skills such as problem-solving, leadership, and communication. The New York Life Foundation has provided funding to expand the program in 2023.

In partnership with the NBA Foundation, NSLA has secured paid internships in the U.S. Congress for 10 college-age students and recent college graduates from minority backgrounds. The internships will give students of color a prestigious experience on their resumes that will help launch their careers. In addition to a stipend, the program pays for housing, travel to Washington, and food and clothing. NSLA joins the Education Department and the Afterschool Alliance, the National Comprehensive Centerat Westat, the National League of Cities, and AASA, the School Superintendents Association as coordinating partners for Engage Every Student. More than 20 allied organizations have signed on including the National Governors Association, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the American Camp Association, and the Y.

More information is available at


For nearly 30 years, NSLA has worked to combat summer learning loss and close the achievement and opportunity gaps which research shows grows most dramatically between lower and higher income students over the summer months. Our vision is, and always has been, to ensure all young people in America, regardless of background, income, and zip code, can participate in and benefit from a high-quality summer learning experience, every year. NSLA supports and collaborates with a broad and ever-growing network of 15,000+ leaders of school districts, youth-serving government agencies, and non-profit and corporate partners from across the country focused on improving the lives of youth.