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New toolkit helps summer program providers reach parents

Children work hard during the school year and they learn a lot. But if we are not careful, they can lose what they learn over the summer. When that happens, they start the next school year behind, and it’s hard to catch up.

We all want to help children keep learning over the summer, so they return to school ready to continue growing.  North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) worked with Book Harvest in Durham to hear from their Parent Advisory Team and learned from parents across North Carolina to determine what messages would be most helpful and the channels they want to receive the messages.

Since summer program providers have the best opportunity to engage parents about how summer can be both a vacation from school and an opportunity for learning and enrichment, NCECF created a toolkit just for them! The toolkit is for schools, camps, churches, libraries and others working with children over summer break.

The Summer Learning Toolkit starts with a simple plan to engage parents throughout the summer including:

  • Communication tools to ensure program staff understand the importance of summer learning so that they can communicate effectively with parents.
  • Information and resources to relay to parents (in English and Spanish) each week of summer.  That’s texts, Facebook posts, and newsletter blogs and phone scripts.
  • A tip sheet for parents about summer learning (in English and Spanish)
  • Special Summer Learning Day stickers badge for everyone!

You’ll find the NC Summer Learning Toolkit here.

Lisa Finaldi

Lisa Finaldi has over 25 years of experience as a non-profit leader at the state, national and international levels. She leads the First 2000 Days initiative and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Through the First 2,000 Days initiative, local organizations build their public engagement capacity, position early child development as an issue that impacts all North Carolinians and engage unexpected voices as early childhood champions.