To the Editor:
Sarah M. Fine hits the nail on the head when she presents community schools as a critical and efficient way to provide social supports, nutrition, and education for young people in underserved communities (“Community Schools: Reform’s Lesser-Known Frontier,” Commentary, Feb. 3, 2010). Perhaps one of the biggest gaps in education that community schools can help fill is what happens over the summer, when the faucet of public resources all but shuts off for disadvantaged youths.
Collaboration in communities and sharing of resources are key to stretching lean budgets and delivering essential supports to children. The best summer learning programs, from Washington, D.C., to California, are models of collaboration. Funders and policymakers should demand, and provide for, these necessary and practical partnerships.
For those interested in reading more, see “Meaningful Linkages Between Summer Programs, Schools, and Community Partners: Conditions and Strategies for Success,” a report from the National Summer Learning Association, available at www.summerlearning.org.
Chief Executive Officer
National Summer Learning Association
A version of this article appeared in the March 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as Community Schools Fill Summer Learning Gap