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Stopping the Summer Slide

With warm weather consistently rolling in, many people are excited for what finally feels to be the start of summer. Family vacations, baseball games, and grilling out are welcome anticipations.

But buried under these fun plans is a problem that many families struggle with: how do we keep kids cared for, learning, and active when school’s out? Childcare is expensive, and for working families, summer can make for a very long three months from a financial standpoint. On top of that, kids need more than just supervision to avoid what's called the "summer slide"—a loss of knowledge and learning progress that happens during the 10-12 weeks kids are out of school. It takes intentional focus on reading and learning, and for families with low incomes, affording summer programming can be especially challenging.

The average family will spend over $3,000 on summer programs for two children—about 20% of a family’s income for the entire summer. Apply that math to families with very low incomes, and you can see how a situation that's an inconvenience for some becomes a serious problem for others. There's an evident opportunity gap here directly impacting kids' abilities to keep up with their peers from higher-income families, and it's a gap that only widens as time goes on. Low-income students can lose as much as 2-3 months of learning over the summer, whereas their higher-income peers actually make slight gains. And it compounds: by the fifth grade, cumulative years of summer learning loss can leave low-income students up to three years behind their peers.

At CommonBond, we have plans to help fight summer slide. Our summer programming is organized around preventing academic regression in fun, productive ways tailored to students across grade levels K-12. The goals of the program are to prevent summer academic slide, familiarize youth with community resources, encourage college and career exploration, engage youth in physical activity, increase leadership skills, and connect youth with summer employment.

For younger kids, this might mean field trips to the Science Museum, daily reading time, building rockets, outside play time, and more. For older teens, learning opportunities are more advanced, and we may focus on career readiness or college exploration.

Our mission is to build stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities—all of these require that kids have ample opportunity to excel and reach their goals, and we want to offer the support to help them do that.

To learn more about CommonBond's Advantage Services, click here!

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