September 15, 2016
Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth
Elementary school students with high levels of attendance in voluntary summer learning programs — defined as at least 20 days of a five- to six-week program — experienced benefits in math and reading according to new RAND Corporation findings from the largest research study ever conducted on summer learning. The results, reported in “Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth,” are on the impact of programs during two consecutive summers. RAND researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial, comparing the results for students who participated in the program with results for students who did not. After the first summer, students who attended at least 20 days outperformed the control group in math, and the improvements persisted through the school year. After the second summer, these high attenders outperformed the control group of students in math and reading, both in the fall and in the following spring.