Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adding an 'S' to LIA

By Sam Piha

We know that young people learn across the day regardless of whether they're in school or out of school. We also know that much is to be learned during the summer months when school is closed. What is new is the knowledge that children suffer learning loss if they do not have quality learning experiences during the summer. Also, accumulated summer learning loss results in the serious achievement gap between those young people of means and low-income youth.

Because the quality of learning experience during the summer makes all the difference, we have expanded our Learning in Afterschool project to include learning in the summer. We have changed our banner to read Learning in Afterschool & Summer and will be adding additional outreach efforts to reach summer program providers and placing new resources on our website. We look forward to working closely with the Partnership for Children and Youth, the National Summer Learning Association, the Afterschool Alliance, and other important advocates for summer learning. 

1 comment:

  1. Sam - I am glad to see the S added to LIA. I have a vision of an Oakland-wide community learning summer. In 2005, I was on the OFCY Planning and Oversight Committee, Strategic Planning Subcommittee. The consultants were not giving us what we wanted so we divided up the strategies and did much of the work ourselves. My assignment was comprehensive afterschool and summer programming.

    I was excited by the possibilities of summer. My thoughts at the time – “Let’s put some real sizzle into Oakland’s summer programs, not just accept a clone of afterschool, and challenge community organizations to be innovative. I envision Oakland and the Bay Area turning into a vast community classroom. I see programs in which kids are out in their communities learning about nature, participating in community projects, learning at the Oakland Museum and the Oakland Zoo, at the estuary, at City Hall, in the libraries, in the parks, along side the creeks, at the Chabot Space and Science Center, playing in the parks and swimming pools…Programs that encourage young people to tell their stories, write a play, draw a comic book, paint a mural, sing their song, run their summer business…live a dream or two…spend a few days away from home on an adventure…” It was a vision of a citywide summer programming collaboration.

    Unfortunately, we barely scratched the surface. Now with the great interest in summer learning, we have another chance.

    Edward Hannemann
    Chair – Oakland Community After-School Alliance (OCASA)


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