Demand is rising for summer learning programs, according to figures from the Afterschool Alliance.
More than half of nearly 14,000 families surveyed in spring 2014 planned to put their kids in a learning program during the summer. The findings were based on data gathered for America After 3PM, a comprehensive report on children’s out-of-school time that the Afterschool Alliance will release in October. A preview of the data on summer learning was released in July.
In 2013, one-third of families enrolled at least one child in a summer learning program, the survey reported.
In 2013, one-third of families enrolled at least one child in a summer learning program, the survey reported. In 2009, 25 percent of families had done so, according to the survey.
Nikki Yamashiro, director of research for the Afterschool Alliance, said the growth in demand is connected to the increased research on summer learning loss.
“Parents are trying to find options,” she said.
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke out on the value of summer learning in an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Summer Learning Association in June. She pledged to make summer educational programs a priority in her Reach Higher Initiative, which encourages youth in the United States to get education beyond high school, whether college or professional training.
She said all kids should have access to good summer learning experience regardless of family income.
The average weekly cost for families who paid for programs in summer 2013 was $250, the Afterschool Alliance reported.
“This puts it out of reach for many families,” Yamashiro said.
About 13 percent of families enrolled kids in programs at no cost, according to the survey.
Support for publicly-funded programs, however, has risen, with 86 percent of parents in favor, compared with 83 percent in 2009, according to the survey.
Less than one-tenth of parents oppose public funding for summer programs.
This year, the upcoming America After 3PM report will include additional detail on the types of activities kids participate in through after-school and summer programs, including physical activity, health and wellness and STEM, Yamashiro said.
The America After 3PM report is funded by The Wallace Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Noyce Foundation. The Heinz Endowments, Samueli Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation also provide financial support.
The data was collected by Shugoll Research.