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A Summer Program Uses the Arts to Combat the Achievement Gap

Around the country, most elementary school students’ math and reading abilities stop progressing over the summer, and kids from low-income families are particularly at risk of slipping backwards. While students of all socioeconomic classes tend to learn at about the same pace during the school year, the impact of summer learning loss is cumulative, and low-income kids can be as many as three years behind their peers by fifth grade. Baltimore is combating that trend. Its Summer Arts and Learning Academy, for elementary schoolers from high-poverty schools, has been particularly effective at minimizing summer learning loss, as measured by reading and math assessments in the spring and fall from one school year to the next. The academy is run by Young Audiences, a Baltimore nonprofit dedicated to arts-based education. And students seem to love it. Read More