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Annual Summer Excellence Awards Announced

Three summer programs from around the U.S. have been recognized with the National Summer Learning Association's annual Excellence in Summer Learning Awards, the organization announced this week.

The three programs-the Fun in the Sun initiative, a program of the United Way of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Ohio State University's LiFE Sports, and New York City's GO Project- were selected from a pool of 50 applicants.

The Fun in the Sun Initiative has 7- to 18-year-old low-income students spend seven weeks in the academical enrichment program, which devotes the entire afternoon to activities around STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Participants, who typically attend the program for consecutive summers, on average, have shown 2.1 grade level gains in reading, phonics, and vocabulary skills.

Ohio State's LiFE Sports, a youth summer program that helps participants develop life skills and social competence, has been in operation for 40 years and is sponsored by the Ohio State University Department of Athletics and the university's College of Social Work.

The GO Project of New York City targets kindergarten through 8th grade students for a five-week program focused on core academics and enrichment. Over half of attendees have a special education classification and 16 percent are English-language learners.

The winners of this year's awards were chosen based on their practices to curb summer learning loss around programming, staffing, relationships to schools and outside partnerships, and efforts to used research-based practices that improve students' 21st-century skills, social skills, and future outcomes.

I wrote about last year's winners here.

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