Multi-platform media campaign will stress the importance of summer learning opportunities to keep kids healthy, happy and engaged in July and August
New York City - July 12, 2016 - In an effort to close the achievement gap by supporting the expansion of access to summer learning opportunities, the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) – an organization dedicated to spreading summer learning opportunities across the country as a solution for equity and excellence in education – has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (NYSE:CCO) (CCOA), one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, and iHeartMedia, Inc., the media and entertainment company with the largest reach of any radio or TV outlet in America, for a national public service campaign to stress the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy this summer.
The out-of-home (OOH) media and radio public service announcements will highlight the NSLA’s Smarter Summers = Brighter Futures campaign, promoting summer learning as a strategy to help young people get ahead in the new school year. CCOA will leverage its digital OOH network to run the PSAs on nearly 1,000 digital billboards across 28 markets, and iHeartMedia will air public service announcements voiced by First Lady Michele Obama across its more than 850 radio stations this summer in July and August.
The campaign will enhance the Summer Opportunity Project, a multi-agency effort led by the White House and in partnership with the NSLA, CCOA and iHeartMedia to support communities across the country in promoting productive summer opportunities for youth. With more non-profit private sector partnerships, the NSLA looks to achieve its 2020 Vision, an effort to ensure that by 2020, every city, town and county in America will provide summer learning, job opportunities and summer meals to every young person who qualifies for free and reduced-price meals.
“At iHeartMedia, we believe in using our resources to inspire action in the thousands of neighborhoods in which we have a presence, and we believe that education sets the foundation for community success,” said Scott Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. “We have joined with NSLA to promote continuous learning opportunities for all young students -- especially during the summer months -- and will inform the public of the resources available in their communities to keep kids learning, safe and healthy all summer long.”
Added Sarah Pitcock, CEO of the NSLA, “Inequity plagues society and nowhere is this more apparent than our education system and access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. To ensure brighter futures for our children, we must make smarter investments in their summers to close the summer opportunity gap. White House initiatives like the Summer Opportunity Project are integral to the work NSLA does and support from companies like CCOA and iHeartMedia is indispensable to help raise awareness of the issue all across the country and continue our work to close the summer opportunity gap.”
Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading achievement, while their higher-income peers make slight gains. And, most youth lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math skills in the summer. Year after year, these losses accumulate. By fifth grade, the cumulative years of summer learning loss can leave low-income students almost three years behind their peers. In fact, more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
In addition to education, to ensure America’s youth are safe, healthy and productive during the summer, NSLA, the White House and government agencies are working on summer programs to keep young people properly fed, help them develop the skills necessary to enter the workforce, and set them on a meaningful career path. Research shows that in addition to preventing summer learning loss, focusing on summer meals and jobs is critical to protecting and equipping children and families:
- Minority children gain weight up to twice as fast during the summer than during the school year. To help stabilize their diets during the summer, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program subsidizes meals for young people. In 2014, 3.2 million youth took advantage of this service on an average day.
- Summer jobs are critical for young people because they divert them from criminal involvement and reduce overall violence, yet nearly 46 percent of youth who applied for summer jobs were turned down, according to a recent study, and over the past 12 years there has been a 40 percent decline in summer job opportunities for our country’s youth.
About National Summer Learning Association
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works in summer learning, develops and delivers capacity-building offerings and convenes and empowers key actors to embrace summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. For more information, visit www.summerlearning.org