National Conference on Summer Learning

It is safe to say that the state of after school and out-of-school-time education is in good hands. Upon returning to Minnesota from Baltimore, MD for the National Conference on Summer Learning presented by the National Summer Learning Association I have a restored sense of hope, a clear vision for the future, and a fire lit within.

The conference featured all of the players in the summer learning “movement” – parents, youth, youth workers, summer learning professionals, foundation representatives, creators, inventors, collaborators, conveners, and more.  From the moment I stepped in to the exhibit hall I could feel the buzz begin to swell. I could see new ideas budding. I could hear the familiarity create connections from sector to sector.

Presenters, keynotes, and exhibitors shared new ideas that – for me – could all be summarized with this major takeaway beautifully shared by the final keynote speaker Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III. He said, “If you treat a child like a thinker, they will be a thinker”.  So this was our call to action- in all that we do to advance summer learning, we must keep the youth first and remember that they, like us all, are thinkers. Have you asked a good question today?

By Liz Lassiter