Voices of Summer Webinar Series

Virtual Resource Fair

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM (ET) | 10:00 AM (PT)

Description: Each year, thousands of youth gain valuable experience participating in enrichment activities during summer programs. But this year, programs find themselves need to find resources that can be accessed remotely. Join us for a Virtual Resource Fair to hear from enrichment partners who have updated their offering to fit a distance-based program. Featured partners will include:Read to Lead, Camp Invention, 220 Leadership, Istation, BOKS Kids, DC Scores and Common Sense.

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The Art of Online Teaching

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM (ET) | 12:00 PM (PT)
Featured Speakers:

Description: One of the hallmarks of a high-quality summer program is the way in which it creates a “summer culture” that is different from the school year and promotes a sense of community. With the onset of COVID-19, many of us have been thrust into the world of virtual communicating and learning. But taking your program virtual this summer may not be as easy as downloading and broadcasting on the latest software platform. How can summer programs maintain a feeling of community and facilitate learning in a way that will keep kids engaged this summer, even at a distance?

Join us May 28 as our panel of experts offer strategies for building community and promoting real learning in a virtual space. This will be part 1 of a 2-part interactive series.

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Fostering Family Engagement

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM (ET)
Featured Speakers:

Description: This summer, more than ever, families will play an integral role in make sure that youth have enriching and productive summer. Join us for a webinar June 3, as we explore strategies for engaging with parents and families. Learning Heroes will share the results from a recent survey of parents’ engagement in remote learning and their concerns for this summer. Springboard Collaborative will discuss how they have been able to empower parents in supporting their children’s learning. And DREAM will share how they stay connected with their parents.

Join us May 28 as our panel of experts offer strategies for building community and promoting real learning in a virtual space. This will be part 1 of a two part interactive series.

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Operations Guidelines for Summer Camps, Programs, and Child Care

Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020
Time: 2:30 PM (ET) | 11:30 AM (PT)
Featured Speakers:

With the onset of COVID-19, organizations will need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their campers and staff this summer. Join us as we review the latest national guidance and resources that have been release from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camp Association, the YMCAs of the United States, the Office of Child Care, and the National Center for Afterschool and Summer Enrichment, including:

  • Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance
  • Considerations for Youth and Summer Camps and Child Care, Schools, and Youth Programs
  • Guidance for CCDF Programs & Policy Makers
  • Child Care and COVID-19 Resources

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Introduction to Apple’s Learning from Home Products

Date: Friday, June 5, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM (ET)

Apple has a suite of free videos, apps, and books to facilitate remote learning. You are invited to a webinar to learn about Apple’s Learning From Home, resources your programs can use to create engaging learning experiences from anywhere this summer.

**Note: Apple hardware (e.g. iPad, iPhone) is required to access these resources.**

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Past Webinars

Sport as a Healing Tool

Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Featured Speakers:

Description: In addition to the physical benefits, sports play an important role in imparting character values and reducing mental stress and anxiety. With the rules of social distancing extending into this summer, how can programs continue to use the power of sport as a healing tool to connect with and support youth.

On May 26, we discussed sports in summer programs. Our speakers will touch on how sports can be used to build community, helping coaches and staff to prepare for this summer, and the role of families in lifting up the importance of movement.

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How College Access Programs are Helping Students Navigate This Summer

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM (ET)

Description: Senior year and graduation is a time that most high school students look forward to. Many summer programs have developed college access and bridge programs to help support youth through this important transitional period. But this year, millions of students have had that experience interrupted and face an uncertain future this fall. This webinar covers how programs are adapting to help older youth navigate this summer.

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Social Emotional Learning at a Distance

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Featured Speakers:

  • Sherrie Raven, Director of PSELI Implementation, CASEL
  • Julia Gabor, Mindful Founder, kid-grit
  • Dudney Sylla, Program Director, MENTOR

Description: Summer programs have been at the forefront of championing social emotional learning (SEL) in their work with youth. But what does this look like when staff are not able to meet with youth in-person. How can programs continue to support youth during this critical period? Join us May 19 at 3pm ET/ 12pm PT as we explore the importance of SEL of in youth programs in a COVID-19 era. We will hear from CASEL on the connection between SEL and out-of-school time programs, and representatives from kid-grit and MENTOR will share resources and strategies they have developed to support implementing SEL with youth this summer.

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The COVID-19 Slide and the Future of Summer Learning – Part II

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM (ET)
Featured Speakers:

Description: This coming summer will be more important than ever in helping kids recover from the current crisis. Join us May 14 at 3pm ET as we continue our conversation on the future of Summer Learning. We will hear from Adam Ezring from Collaborative For Student Success to share the results of their recent national survey of educators. We will also be joined by Alec Lee from Aim High and Dolores Raivzee-Bell from DeSoto ISD to share what they are doing to support summer learning in their communities.

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The Arts at the Heart of Summer Learning and Student Engagement

Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Featured Speakers:

Description: Learning in and through the arts have the power to transform the lives of young people by elevating student voice and self-expression while fostering 21st century skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.

But how can providers continue to use the power of the arts in in a COVID-19 reality? Join us May 12 at 2pm ET to hear how three programs are adapting their program offerings in order to continue providing arts enrichment to youth. We will be joined by Young Audiences of Maryland, Engaging Creative Minds in South Carolina, and the Bishop Arts Theatre Center in Texas.

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Making Summer Youth Employment Work

Date: Thursday, May 7, 2020
Featured Speakers:

Description: Each year, thousands of youth gain valuable experience working through Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEP) hosted by cities across the country. These programs have the power to transform the lives of young people, particularly for undeserved youth. Through these jobs, young people receive job training, life skills, career development, and financial readiness. A survey of the National League of Cities, Mayors’ Education Policy Advisors Network showed that 70 percent of SYEP hosted by large American cities are moving forward but 30 percent are closing or struggling to keep their doors open. City leaders are on the frontlines of their community responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting the 4.5 million students impacted by prolonged school closures.

Join us and the National League of Cities as we discuss strategies cities are using to keep their SYEP going and to support students entering a changing workforce. City leaders from Charlotte, NC and Boston, MA will share how they are tackling youth employment this summer in the midst of COVID-19. We’ll also hear from LinkedIn Learning on how their online platform can be used to support student skill-building.

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The COVID-19 Slide and the Future of Summer Learning – Part I

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Featured Speakers:

  • Karl Alexander, PhD, Academy Professor and John Dewey Professor Emeritus, Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
  • Matthew Boulay, PhD, Founder, National Summer Learning Association
  • Megan Kuhfeld, Research Scientist, Collaborative for Student Growth at NWEA
  • Bethe Tarasawa, Executive Vice President of Research, NWEA

Description: A recent NWEA report, The COVID-19 slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on student academic achievement, confirms that “achievement typically slows or declines over the summer months with generally steeper declines for math than for reading, and the extent (proportionally) of loss increases in the upper grades.” Their report projects that with the COVID-19 crisis, students may return in Fall 2020 with roughly 70% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year, less than 50% of the learning gains in math, and in some grades, nearly a full year behind what we would observe in normal conditions.

This coming summer will be more important than ever in helping kids recover from the current crisis. Join us as report authors, Beth Tarasawa and Megan Kuhfeld, present their findings. We will also be joined by NSLA founder, Matthew Boulay, and Karl Alexander, Professor Emeritus of Johns Hopkins University, for a discussion on what the current educational circumstances mean for the measurement and evaluation of academic outcomes, how we might address the needs of the most vulnerable youth, and what may be needed for next school year and summer 2021.

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Reading Between the Lines: Building Equity through SEL and Literacy

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 (ET)

Description: We all know how important it is to keep kids engaged around literacy during the summer months. But what will this look like for this coming summer with so many organizations facing the possibility of having to hold virtual programs? And how will we ensure that they remain engaged with the material while remote?

Join us for a discussion on literacy and social emotional learning April 29, at 2 pm ET. Our guests will include literacy expert and advocate, Pam Allyn, who will discuss strategies for successful learning at home. We also will hear examples from Texas and Wisconsin about planning strategies to continue to engage students in reading and building capacity for at home literacy this summer.

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COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Packages: What it means for OST programs.

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Presenters: Ally Bernstein, Vice President, Bernstein Strategy Group, Sage Learn, National Director Government Relations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Erik Peterson, Vice President of Policy, Afterschool Alliance

Description: Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law on March 27th, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides $2 trillion in emergency stimulus funding to address the immediate financial needs of families, businesses, and the education system amidst the economic fallout from COVID-19. Specifically, for k-12 education, it includes $13.5 billion in flexible funds that can be used by SEAs and LEAs on a wide range of activities, including afterschool and summer learning programs, which are cited in the law. Additionally, the package includes $3.01 billion for an emergency Governor’s fund for states to use on a wide range of activities to address the pressing education needs, including OST programs.

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Supporting Climate Change Education in Your Summer Program

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Presenters: Rachael Van Schoik, Science Action Club Manager, California Academy of Sciences, Christine Tomlinson, Youth Programs Manager, Wilderness Inquiry, Mike Tritchler, San Diego Unified School District

Description: Young people, more than ever before, are turning their attention to the effects of climate change and the importance of environmental stewardship. In this webinar we will hear from summer programs that are already committed to empowering students to increase their knowledge and understanding of the impact of climate change. Join us to hear ideas and resources you can use with your program this summer. We will also share how your students can participate in a video essay competition this summer to share what they doing to limit the impacts of climate change and influence others to take action.

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Expanding Teacher Practice – The Promise of Summer Learning for Job-Embedded SEL Development

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Presenters: Christine Baines, Senior Manager Professional Development & Quality and Bryan Hall, Senior Director, Evaluation, BellXcel

Description: Research demonstrates that adults learn best when able to test and apply new strategies in real-world environments. Summer affords teachers the opportunity to engage in concrete experiences, try out new approaches and techniques, and reflect with peers to develop insights into what works (The Aspen Institute, 2018; Schonert-Reichl, 2017). A recent study suggests that BellXcel Summer educators believe that the professional learning they engage in as part of BellXcel Summer is influencing their confidence and attitudes toward the school year, and their practice in key areas such as growth mindset and promoting positive behavior (Bellwether Education Partners, 2018). In this webinar, we’ll explore how best to leverage summer environments to advance teacher development and SEL skills, as these results suggest that summer may be under-utilized as a learning lab for educators.

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Shaping Summer Experiences: Opportunities to promote healthy development and well-being for children and youth

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Presenter: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Report Committee

Description: With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Wallace Foundation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine convened a committee of experts in 2018 to study and prepare a report on the state of the sciences, and how summertime experiences affect school age children across education, health, and safety. Released in late 2019, the report put forth a number of recommendations to inform federal, state, local, and organizational decision-makers on developing programs and policies to support the healthy development and learning of all children during the summer months. Committee members will join the webinar to speak about some of the recommendations, what action practitioners can take, and areas for future research.

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Are You Ready to Grow?

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020
Presenter: Jose Oromí, Executive Vice President, Horizons National

Description: Using strategies that are focused on partnerships and long-term success has allowed Horizons to expand in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Bridgeport, and Chicago where several other organizations are doing amazing work to address the significant needs of students living in poverty. Through lessons learned in each city, leaders from Horizons National will present the strategies and tactics ensuring a program is ready to embark on growth and sustainability; board development; fundraising; identification of new partners; learning from best practices from existing sites/programs; establishing and facilitating operational goals; and identifying local champions.

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Summer and Afterschool in the 2020 Presidential Race Briefing for Media

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Presenters: Rachel Gwaltney, VP of Policy and Partnerships, NSLA, Crystal Brown, National VP of Youth Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jennifer McCombs, Director, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department and Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation, Emily Richmond, Public Editor, Education Writers Association – moderator


Summer and afterschool programs are core to the 2020 presidential candidates’ education agendas with continued investments needed to improve the conditions for children and families during the critical summer months. This briefing aims to increase your knowledge on the role of summer learning and afterschool programs in advancing educational outcomes and healthy development for our nation’s young people with highlights that include:

* Discussion of why summer matters to children, families, schools, and communities
* Recommendations from the new National Academies of Sciences report: Shaping Summertime Experiences
* Funding implications for summer and afterschool programs within the recent 1.3 trillion FY20 budget deal by the House and the Senate
* National models of summer success stories

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Summer Reading: Weaving a Tapestry of Support

Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Presenter: Beth Duda, Director, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading at The Patterson Foundation

Description: During the webinar, Beth Duda will discuss how the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-level Reading’s (SCGLR) Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge brought five sectors: individuals, nonprofits, businesses, government and the media together to transform summer into a time of learning gain and how other communities can experience that same level of success.

The presentation also features the Harwood Institute’s time-tested principles and techniques, which complement principles from Creating the Future, an organization co-founded by social scientist Hildy Gottlieb. These insights will help participants understand that how we work together can be as important as what we do. Effective collaboration requires hyper-attention to communications with internal and external stakeholders. Examples of SCGLR communications alignment will be shared.

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Part I – Getting to Work on Summer Learning & Summer Learning Toolkit
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019

This exciting webinar series covered Getting to Work on Summer Learning, Second Edition, by the Rand Corporation and the accompanying online Summer Learning Toolkit, with over 50 practical tools and planning resources to help school districts and their partners design and deliver high-quality summer programs. The report and toolkit draw on lessons from the National Summer Learning Project, launched in 2011 by The Wallace Foundation.

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Part II – Summer Learning Toolkit, A Deeper Dive: Keys to Staffing & Professional Development
Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019

In this second webinar, we highlighted The Wallace Foundation’s new Summer Learning Toolkit—a great resource to use for whatever stage of planning you are in with your summer programming! We also took a closer look at staffing and professional development to examine how to hire and train the best possible staff that suits the specific climate, culture, and goals of your summer program.

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Part III – Summer Learning Toolkit–A Deeper Dive: Creating Site Climate and Culture
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2019

Summer learning programs offer the chance for kids to stay safe and remain engaged during the out-of-school-time months and build both academic and social and emotional skills, as they explore all that your program has to offer. This third and final webinar showed participants how to establish and foster a positive site climate that creates the foundation on which successful youth and staff experiences are built. Participants explored tip sheets, sample handbooks, and other materials housed in the Summer learning Toolkit.

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