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Curious Minds - Summer Learning Found to be Critical

Summer Learning Found to be Critical


There are times when educational research is not able to make clear and absolute claims about the impact of certain programs, interventions, or reforms. For example, does extending the school day help all kids? Or, what is the most effective curriculum structure for teaching algebra?


This is not the case when looking at the importance of summer learning opportunities for youth. There is a long, broad, and rigorous research base supporting participation in high-quality learning opportunities for kids. A summary of existing research by Rand Education and the Wallace Foundation concluded that “students who attend summer programs have better outcomes than similar peers who do not attend these programs,” and that these effects tend to last for beyond the next school year. Researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have done extensive studies of summer programs and found them to be critical to students from diverse backgrounds, achievement levels and ages. 


And hey! It’s time to think about spending your summer with WCATY. We offer residential camps for students in grades 5-12 on diverse topics, where kids join an intellectual community of learners excited about geeking out. Check out the options here and come join us for summer of learning!



Annalee Good is WCATY's research coordinator and an associate researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at UW-Madison. A former middle school social studies teachers, she teaches in WCATY's online Academy and blogs regularly for Curious Minds.