SummerCollab was recently honored at a ceremony held by the Next Generation of Southern Delaware, a giving circle of the Delaware Community Foundation, where they were awarded a grant for making an impact on the addiction crisis in Southern Delaware.
We are excited to announce that SummerCollab has won the National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA) Founders Award! This award recognizes drop-in program models, like SummerCollab’s, that work with existing infrastructure (i.e. community agencies) to reverse summer learning loss for the most underserved communities. SummerCollab was selected as a winner out of eight finalists and 500 applicants this year. Previous winners include Dallas City of Learning (DCoL) and Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge (Chicago Public Library).
SummerCollab is a Wilmington based nonprofit that works with existing community based agencies and provides them with the resources and talent they need to execute project-based and experiential curricula with their campers. SummerCollab hires teachers and top high school students to work in community based agencies in roles that optimize their expertise and provide them with leadership growth in the summertime. This year, SummerCollab is serving nearly 2000 students across the state of Delaware.
NSLA is an organization that focuses on closing the achievement gap and providing all youth with learning opportunities. The Baltimore based non-profit carries out research on the effects of summer learning loss and identifies summer programs that aim to reverse that trend for low-income students. NSLA and SummerCollab’s missions are in alignment with one another, as they both seek to achieve education equity across the board.
Over $50,000 will go to 12 SummerCollab Member Programs to upskill 200 counselors who will serve over 2,000 low income youth this summer in community based organizations and schools from across the state.
Summer Learning Loss has a categorical impact on low-income students: two-thirds of the achievement gap between low and high-income students is sourced nationally in summer learning loss. To help combat this dichotomy, United Way has teamed up with the Summer Learning Collaborative to ensure counselors across the state serving low-income youth have new resources at their disposal to support summer learning. Both SummerCollab and United Way believe it is crucial to equip communities with the resources needed to offer all kids access to extraordinary and enriching summer programs – programs that boost literacy, critical thinking, and sense of self.
Through targeted planning, talent, leadership, and curricular supports, the SummerCollab seeks to enable community-based institutions to make their summer programs more accessible and more By forging powerful partnerships that leverage collective assets to make more possible for kids, the SummerCollab has connected over 40 organizations together to improve the quality of programming available to 2300 low-income students across the state.
Teacher counselors are at the forefront of the SummerCollab’s fight against summer learning loss, and thanks to United Way’s commitment to improving summer outcomes within community agencies, all 200 camp counselors across SummerCollab’s network were offered elite professional development for the first time through a “Talent RFP” process.
As Catherine Lindroth, Founder of SummerCollab said, “By collaborating intentionally with our camp partners and United Way, we will improve the quality of teaching and learning at existing summer programs – the fuel needed to light kids up about learning. We are so grateful to United Way for acting as the funding backbone to this work, enabling us to ensure our camp partners have what they need to ensure campers have access to higher quality counselors for the three months of summer that we know are so crucial to their long-term development.”
Today, the social and emotional needs of low-income youth often exceed the knowledge and expertise of counselors on site at existing summer programs. In fact, over 60% of low-income youth in our state struggle with trauma and critical literacy gaps. As such, growing intrinsic motivation, critical thinking, and sense of self requires consistent and high-quality instruction from leadership and staff.
The quality of instruction needed is precisely why this $50,000 commitment from United Way is so critically important. Thanks to these funds, SummerCollab has been able to drive targeted and impactful change in the expectations and training experience for counselors on-site at partner programs. Before the start of summer, the Collaborative’s partners and their counselors engaged in a minimum of 10 hours of training through elite programs like Jounce, STRIVE, Outward Bound, Responsive Classroom, and CCAC. Catherine Lindroth summarized the impact of the counselor training as “though all camps share challenges with talent accountability, training, orientation and competency needs, we expect to see these tailored investments through our new “Talent RFP Process” go much further to help Camp Leadership Team’s achieve the culture, vision, and mission they seek.”
The impact of this investment will be compounded through SummerCollab’s innovative curriculum model, which pairs teachers hired as Instructional Coaches with counselors throughout the summer. Through debriefs and planning time, our IC’s work to ensure teacher counselors continue to improve week after week in their capacity to engage students in intentional and engaging learning experiences.
About Elite Professional Development Vendors
STRIVE – Introduces student-athletes and coaches to an intentional way of culture-building and leading a culture-driven community.
Jounce – Jounce trains current and future school leaders for rapid teacher skill growth, thus accelerating teachers towards excellence and a reimagined principal role.
Outward Bound – A leading provider of outdoor education programs for youth and adults.
Gap – Helps bring an understanding of student needs, as well as meeting the needs during the summer. GAP program has a model that focuses on a three multi-tiered system of behavior supports.
Christina Culture Arts Center (CCAC) – Provides cultural competency training, coaching staff on effective facilitation of groups to foster a sense of inclusiveness and belonging.
Responsive Classroom – A research-based approach to K-8 education driving teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate.
Independent School Management – Offers workshops to propel the team to the next level of excellence by realizing a new way of doing things through unique action plans, resources and tools, content and strategies, networking opportunities, and expert guidance.
For more information about the SummerCollab and how we Make Summer Smarter, check out our model.
To help fund the SummerCollab and its fight to reverse summer learning loss, please consider making a donation. Every dollar counts, Every kid counts.
Eight Grant Recipients Will Receive Services Valued at $25,000 Per Agency to Bolster Learning Over Summer
WILMINGTON, Del., April 20, 2016—Today, United Way of Delaware (UWD) and The Summer Learning Collaborative (SummerCollab) announced the Make Summer Smarter grant. Open to all Delaware non-profits offering summer programs to low-income students, the grant will provide $25,000 in services to eight agencies. The program aims to further SummerCollab’s mission to end summer learning loss among low-income students, which research suggests accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap between rich and poor youth. The eight grant recipients will receive a suite of training and resources representing best practices learned over the last three years of SummerCollab’s operation. Resources include access to SummerCollab’s online portal of lesson plans written by certified teachers, a full time Operations Specialist to manage supply systems, 20 hours of program consulting, counselor training, personalized learning reports, access to the Let’s Go Learn adaptive assessment, instructional coaching services, and an October summer learning retreat for camp leaders to analyze camp outcomes. Camps will also receive access to the Reading is Fundamental summer library and trainings, a literacy program that has been successfully implemented statewide at Boys and Girls Clubs in partnership with United Way. In fall 2016, four of the grant recipients will be invited to formally join the SummerCollab and receive a full scope of supports from the program. The remaining four agencies will continue to prepare for reapplication in spring 2017. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with more agencies throughout the state through this partnership with United Way,” said SummerCollab President and Executive Director Catherine Lindroth. “United Way has supported SummerCollab since our launch, and this grant process will empower us to provide proven best practices to nearly 3,000 students, a critical step to ending summer learning loss in Delaware.” Michelle A. Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer added, “This program aligns with United Way of Delaware’s work ensuring that children are properly prepared and ready to achieve success, and most importantly, reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club and The Summer Learning Collaborative is key in helping to reduce summer learning loss which then positively affects the following school year. Last summer our students made three months of learning gains, a complete reversal of typical learning loss. The Make Summer Smarter grant will provide resources to nonprofits dedicated to early learning, and United Way is proud to be a partner in this work.”
About The Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning Collaborative (SummerCollab) works with existing community institutions such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to utilize talent, training, personalized consulting and new technology to address systemic barriers to achieving high quality academic student outcomes during the summer. In 2015, SummerCollab served nearly 1,000 Wilmington students who, on average, gained three months of learning, reversing the typical three months low-income students lose. The SummerCollab’s mission is to ensure all kids have access to extraordinary summer experiences that light them up about learning and all the possibilities of who they can be. For more information, visit http://www.summercollab.org and follow us on Facebook.
WILMINGTON, Del., April 19, 2016—This past weekend, 1,400 students from Padua Academy, Salesianum School, and Ursuline Academy ended their months long fundraising effort with the SALSTHON dance marathon. Students from all three schools raised over $130,000 for the Summer Learning Collaborative (SummerCollab), a Wilmington non-profit that works with community centers to end summer learning loss among low-income students. The event, hosted by Salesianum, began at 10:00 PM and ended at 6:00 AM.
SALSTHON, which stands for Students about Saving Lives, takes inspiration from other large charitable dance marathon’s such as Pennsylvania State University’s THON and University of Delaware’s UDANCE. In its fourth year, organizers including the Salesianum Student Council, chose to give proceeds to SummerCollab after many students at the three schools worked with the organization over the past summer. One Ursuline senior, Emma Derr, is a current intern with the organization and expressed her excitement for the work SummerCollab is doing in Wilmington: “Last summer when I worked with SummerCollab, I had the pleasure to see kids grow in their belief about themselves and their ability to learn. That’s what it’s really all about.” Dan Jackman, Associate Dean of Student Activities at Salesianum, added, “The Summer Learning Collaborative has the same grit and energy that our students do; we are both determined to work for the betterment for our community. That is exactly what we look for in an organization.”
Funds raised will provide eight weeks of athletic and arts opportunities, which will be known as Tyler’s Camp, named after the late Tyler Ritchie Brown, a Salesianum senior who passed away in March. Over 250 low-income Wilmington children will have the opportunity to choose a camp that will provide students with unique and diverse summer experiences. Facilities for Tyler’s Camp will be provided by Salesianum and Ursuline. A large portion of the funds will be allocated to transportation costs, which SummerCollab staff highlighted as one the largest barriers facing low-income youth attending camps like these, which are often outside their neighborhoods. In addition to the schools, SummerCollab is partnering with Longwood Gardens, Hagley Museum, The Wilmington Children’s Chorus, OperaDelaware, and Microsoft to provide unique summer programs.
“I’m awe struck by the high school students who came together to make this happen. Their efforts show just how much one person, one institution, one community can make a difference” said Summer Learning Collaborative President and Executive Director Catherine Lindroth. “I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work closely with the students and administration at these schools. Their passion and drive for service is humbling, and collectively we will make an enormous impact on low-income youth this summer.”
About The Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning Collaborative (SLC) works with existing community institutions such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to utilize talent, training, personalized consulting and new technology to address systemic barriers to achieving high quality academic student outcomes during the summer. In 2015, SLC served nearly 1,000 Wilmington students who, on average, gained three months of learning, reversing the typical three months low-income students lose. The SLC’s mission is to ensure all kids have access to extraordinary summer experiences that light them up about learning and all the possibilities of who they can be. For more information, visit http://www.summercollab.org and follow us on Facebook.