San Francisco, CA 6/20/14– Hundreds of San Francisco youth and their families will be joined at City Hall by Mo’ Magic sponsors Supervisor London Breed and Public Defender Jeff Adachi, as well as supporters including several city leaders, district leaders, and State Senator Leno, to celebrate National Summer Learning Day. The largest National Summer Learning Day gathering in California, this event will honor the district, city, and non-profit partnerships that make summer learning programs across the city and state a reality. The event will include a festival of summer learning in Civic Center Plaza led by the summer learning program Mo’ Magic.
This event is one of many planned throughout California to recognize National Summer Learning Day, and is being held alongside events in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Fresno, and many other communities.
A vast body of research shows that students who lack access to quality summer learning opportunities risk suffering “summer learning loss”–this term refers to an actual loss in academic skills and knowledge during the summer months that sets students back academically. Research shows that high-quality and engaging summer learning programs prevent summer learning loss and strengthen students’ social and academic skills, work habits, attitudes, and readiness to learn.
National Summer Learning Day is aimed at showing parents, educators, and decision-makers that summer learning is critical to closing the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their peers. Events across California will highlight the growing number of communities and districts that are investing in summer programs to ensure that all children learn and play throughout the summer.
“More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who founded the Mo’ Magic program to steer youth in the Western Addition away from the juvenile justice system. “San Francisco is a city of incredible innovation but also suffers from extreme income inequality. Low-income kids in San Francisco are less likely than their wealthy peers to graduate from high school, enter college, or take advantage of the economic boom in their hometown. Investing in summer learning means providing opportunities for all young San Franciscans to continue to learn and succeed.”
“I’m honored to sponsor Mo’ Magic’s National Summer Learning Day event,” said Supervisor London Breed. “Excitement is growing across the state to build summer learning programs that help kids learn all year long, and San Francisco is a leader in the movement.”
“National Summer Learning Day reinforces why summer matters and why high-quality summer learning programs are so important,”said Sheryl Davis, the Director of Mo’ Magic.“This is a terrific opportunity for students and city leaders to celebrate summer learning. Our students are demonstrating how much they value summer programs, and city leaders can participate in summer activities with the children.”
“San Francisco is committed to providing high-quality summer learning programs across all of our neighborhoods, and we’re excited about the partnerships between the City, school district, businesses and nonprofits that make these opportunities available for our City’s youth,” said Mayor Edwin Lee. “Let’s make sure our youth keep learning this summer!”
In San Francisco, the city and school district lead a citywide partnership that involves parents, nonprofit providers, and other stakeholders all working to increase the availability to and quality of summer learning programs. The partnership, called the San Francisco Expanded Learning Collaborative, focuses on policy but also practical resources like an online searchable database of summer programs, located at www.SFKids.org, to help families understand their options.
“Our city is amazing and unique in that many public and private organizations collaborate to ensure children and youth are supported with high-quality summer learning environments,” said Maria Su, Director of the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families. “DCYF strives to foster these collaborations through strategic city-wide planning and is proud to say there has been an increase in summer program slots for 2014!”
This year, State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson and the Summer Matters Campaign helped develop legislation that will update how California allocates over $120 million in federal after-school program dollars via the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program so that more students have access to year-round learning. SB 1221, authored by State Senator Loni Hancock, was passed by the State Senate on May 28th and is now being considered by the Assembly Education Committee.
“An investment in summer learning is an investment in our youth and their future. That is why I support SB 1221, which will boost grants for year-round educational programming,” said Senator Mark Leno. “Summer learning programs, such as those provided by Mo’ Magic in San Francisco, are vitally important for students to succeed in school.”
During the press conference on the steps of City Hall, Hydra Mendoza, Education and Family Services Advisor to Mayor Edwin Lee, will presenta proclamation for National Summer Learning Day to Jennifer Peck, executive director of the Partnership for Children and Youth and chair of the Summer Matters Campaign. “This celebration showcases the great work happening in San Francisco, and mirrors other fabulous summer learning events that are happening across the state. We’re excited that so many school and city leaders understand the importance of children learning year-round,” said Peck.
Following the press conference, children and their families will be able to participate in fun and engaging summer learning activities in Civic Center Plaza, such as sports, arts and crafts, science, and reading. In partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the San Francisco Public Library will be hosting Imagination Playground, as well as have a book mobile at the event. In addition, corporate sponsors LinkedIn and Facebook will have volunteers assisting with activities, such as surveys and a photo booth.
“Facebook is committed to supporting the academic success of local students. We proudly support Mo’ Magic and National Summer Learning Day and their efforts in encouraging students to prepare for the coming school year,” said Susan Gonzalez, Director of Community Engagement at Facebook.
“We are thrilled to support Summer Learning Day for San Francisco children,” said Katie Ferrick, LinkedIn Senior Manager of Community Relations. “This is a great opportunity to support our nation’s youth to continue to learn this summer and ultimately help build our future leaders.”