This episode features a conversation with Aaron Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, the nation’s leading champion, connector and supporter of summer learning programming. Aaron has a long history in youth service and has brought a new energy and ambition to the work of NSLA. This comes at a unique moment for the field of summer learning, as the global pandemic and worries about learning loss and mental health give heightened purpose to learning opportunities this particular summer. While that is true, it is also the case that summer learning plays a big role in the learning and development for youth in any circumstance, including creating valuable spaces and relationships specific to young adolescents in middle school.
Aaron and Jason talk about the genesis and work of NSLA, where summer learning fits within the broader ecosystem of education and youth, and more about the unique features of summer learning for young adolescents in middle school. They also address the future of summer learning - in the near-term, what summer learning is shaping up to be this year as our country looks to rebuild from the pandemic and address concerns of learning loss and mental health; in the long term, how summer learning can be better leveraged as a full partner in learning and what educators at the school and districts levels can do to forge those partnerships.
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