How can summer learning programs improve student outcomes?

Understanding best approaches with the National Summer Learning and Enrichment Study


With the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March 2021, states and school districts have resources to address urgent learning and social-emotional needs of students, including those students disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—which exacerbated the preexisting inequities in our education system. With robust funding from ARP to support learning acceleration efforts, and a push from the Secretary of Education to provide summer learning and enrichment programming for children across the nation, summer 2021 took on a new significance and sense of urgency for America’s children.


Westat’s National Summer Learning & Enrichment Study, conducted for the Wallace Foundation, is leading the effort to understand how states and districts responded to this call to action with a multimethod study capturing lessons about summer 2021 and intentions for summer 2022.


The study results will add nationally representative findings and important descriptive additions to the evidence base on summer learning and enrichment. These baseline data will help suggest directions for future research and capacity building for summer learning and enrichment, and learning recovery more broadly, to enable equitable student success.


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