Why do summer programs matter? The proof is in the data.

Jere Baxter Students at summer camp

With the school year wrapping up, it is time for Nashville families to make their summer plans and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) wants to help. This year, MNPS is offering more than 60 summer camps and programs that aim to pique your student’s interest, enrich their learning and prepare them for the next school year. Families can go to www.mnps.org/summer-programs to find a camp by selecting your child’s grade.

Why do summer programs matter?

It is proven that students who stay engaged during the summer perform better than students who do not when they return to school. On average, students lose approximately one to two months of grade-level reading and math skills during summer vacation. MNPS is staying ahead of learning losses by creating summer environments that promote active student engagement and consistent improvement in academic achievement. These programs increase equitable access to quality instruction to promote literacy and academic enrichment. No matter the subject matter or purpose of the summer programs and camps offered, they all help to keep students engaged and are proven to prevent summer learning loss.

Reading data for students who attended last year’s four types of MNPS summer camps (English Learner, Read to Be Ready, Teach For America Summer Academy and On Target) directly support the importance of summer engagement.

  • MNPS students who attended any of the four types of 2018 summer camps with at least 75 percent attendance made positive reading growth from spring to fall, according to their scores on the district benchmark tests taken in February and August.

  • When compared to control groups of matched students, summer camp attendees made more reading growth from spring to fall than the control groups in all four camp types.

  • Surveys about reading interest and reading motivation were administered to some student attendees before and after camp--collectively, student respondents slightly increased their overall interest in reading after attending summer camp.  

“Our data suggests that students engaging in an MNPS summer camp see growth in reading and motivation to read which affects all areas of academic success,” Jennifer Bell, MNPS Director of Extended Learning Programs said. “Not only are MNPS summer camps helping to prevent summer learning loss, but these programs are highly engaging, support healthy social-emotional development and help meet basic needs through no-cost breakfast and lunch.”

In addition to academic enrichment, MNPS is prepared to serve more than 125,000 meals this summer through the Summer Meals Program. This program addresses the connection between students’ hunger and poor performance in school by filling the nutrition gap while schools are not in session. Learn more: Summer Meals Program.