NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk ACTS, in partnership with Horizons National, is hosting a “Call to Action” Summer Learning Symposium from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Norwalk Community College, East Campus, Pepsico Auditorium.
The symposium will gather city and district leadership, community leaders, program providers and stakeholders around building a better summer learning system for Norwalk’s children.
Having identified summer learning as a critical target for action, Norwalk ACTS and Horizons National aim for the symposium to serve as the next step in engaging more children in high-quality programming during the summer months. This “Call to Action” will explore what a collective, citywide summer effort can provide for Norwalk’s children year-round, and how partners can leverage and expand upon Norwalk’s existing assets to increase capacity and effect systems change.
The symposium will feature experts from the National Summer Learning Association, Providence After School Alliance and Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association, who will provide insight into the development of some of the nation’s most successful regional summer initiatives. It is well documented that all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational and enrichment activities during the summer months. According to the National Summer Learning Association, low-income students are disproportionately at risk to lose academic skills during the summer.
“We know that more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be attributed to unequal access to summer opportunities,” said Anthony Allison, executive director of Norwalk ACTS. “Engaging students in high-quality summer academic and enrichment programs has the potential to stop this disproportionate and cumulative summer loss and to propel all students to higher achievement.”
There are 20 to 25 providers of summer learning in Norwalk, serving roughly 3,300 of the 11,000 students who attend Norwalk schools, according to Allison. Norwalk ACTS and Horizons National will employ the “Collective Impact” methodology to work with partners and summer providers to develop their collective strategy.
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