One of my favorite partnerships as a building leader was our local youth recreational community organization. The Director graduated from our school and provided great support to our students and the community.

During our first meeting, we prepared a plan to provide students with academic tutoring and recreational activities. Because our school was also a summer feeding location, students could walk to our school, eat breakfast and lunch, and then return to the Center. As a result of our collaboration, our students strengthen their academics and bodies through exercise and sports.

Summer learning loss is a significant concern as it can set students back several months in their educational progress, mainly affecting those in under-resourced communities. An effective strategy to address this issue involves fostering partnerships between schools, community organizations, and local businesses. These partnerships can create programs that maintain academic skills and integrate engaging recreational activities during the summer break.

Collaborative Efforts

Community and school partnerships are beneficial as they leverage the strengths and resources of various stakeholders:

  • Local Businesses: By providing funding or resources, local businesses can support educational programs that might otherwise be unavailable due to budget constraints. They can also offer practical learning opportunities through internships or vocational training.
  • Non-Profits: Organizations focused on education, youth development, and community service can offer expertise and volunteers to run programs. These entities often have access to additional funding sources and can provide specialized knowledge that enhances the educational content of summer programs.
  • Educational Organizations: Schools and non-profits can contribute by designing curricula that blend academic learning with fun activities. This ensures that programs are both engaging and educationally substantive.

Program Design

Effective summer programs should include a mix of the following elements:

  • Academic Learning: Structured academic activities that reinforce subjects like math, science, and reading are crucial. These should be designed to prevent the summer slide in a fun and interactive way.
  • Recreational Activities: Sports, arts, and other recreational activities are essential for developing soft skills and keeping students engaged. These activities also promote physical health and social development.
  • Family Engagement: Programs that engage families and encourage learning at home can extend the impact of summer learning initiatives. This involves providing parents with resources and strategies to support their children’s education.

“Strategic partnerships between schools and community resources are crucial in supporting at-risk children and combating summer learning loss.” -Jane Quinn and Martin J. Blank

By combining resources and expertise from various sectors, community and school partnerships can provide impactful summer learning opportunities that help prevent the academic backslide typically seen during the summer months. These programs maintain academic skills and enrich the students’ summer experience with fun and constructive activities.


“When students are led well, they learn well.”

The views shared in the Educational Leadership Moment are solely mine and do not reflect the positions of my employer or any entity within the local, state, or federal government sectors.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may also like

July 23, 2024

July 16, 2024

July 9, 2024

Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.