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Summers Learning Loss

Studies show that over the summer, most students lose two months of math computation skills. Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, while middle-income students maintain or gain due to access to summer programs and other enrichment opportunities. Losses accumulate over years eventually resulting in students that perform below their grade level. By 5th grade, many low-income students are the equivalent of two to three grades behind.  Much of this achievement gap can be attributed to summer learning loss. 

S.P.A.R.K. (Summers Producing Academically Ready Kids)


S.P.A.R.K. is a six-week math and ELAR enrichment program designed to mitigate summer learning loss through engaging games, activities, and project-based learning. Our program is offered to organizations serving economically disadvantaged youth as part of their existing summer programs. 

Key program highlights: 

  • S.P.A.R.K is staffed by experienced classroom teachers.

  • On average, over half of the students demonstrate an improvement in their assessment grades from the beginning to the end of the summer program.

  • Students enrolled in the program are provided with a new backpack and book upon successfully completing the course.

  • During project-based learning, professionals from fields related to the unit subjects engage with students by presenting Career Chats.


1. The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66, 227-268.  Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996).

2. Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap. K. Alexander, D. Entwisle and L. Olson, American Sociological Review, 2007 (72, 167-180).

How Summer Learning Loss Effects Low-Income Kids

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