New research from the 2014 edition of America After 3PM, the most comprehensive household survey of how students in America spend their after school hours, shows that summer learning programs are strongly supported by parents and that participation in summer learning programs is on the rise.
According to the survey of nearly 14,000 families:
- 86% percent of parents indicate support for public funding for summer learning programs, a statistically significant increase of 3 percentage points over the already very strong support registered in 2009.
- One-third of families report at least one child participated in a summer learning program last summer, up from the 25% of families reporting at least one child participated when the survey was last conducted in 2009.
- More than 50% of families reported a desire to participate in a summer learning program this summer.
- 13% of families reported that summer programs were available to them at no cost in 2013. However, the vast majority of parents paid for programs and the average weekly per-child cost for a summer learning program was $250— high enough to put the programs out of the reach of many children and families.
With increased awareness of the problem of summer learning loss, especially among low-income students, it is encouraging to see data that suggest parents are increasingly recognizing the important role that summer learning programs can play in helping keep kids on track for success. However, the cost data raise concerns about equity and whether or not the very students who might most likely benefit from programs are able to access them. Download the one-pager or graphics for an overview of the findings.
In October, look for the release of the 2014 edition of America After 3PM, which will provide a detailed view of afterschool, including access to STEM learning opportunities, physical activity, and healthy meals and snacks in afterschool. America After 3PM is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wallace Foundation and the Noyce Foundation, with additional support from the Heinz Endowments, Samueli Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.