Hundreds of California middle school and high school students marked National Summer Learning Day with a “Read-In” at the California State Capitol on Thursday, joining together with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and a host of state lawmakers, school district leaders, and civic leaders to rally for expanded summer learning opportunities for all California students.
The state’s flagship celebration of National Summer Learning Day was spearheaded by “Summer Matters” – the statewide campaign chaired by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson that is working to combat “summer learning loss” and expand access to high quality summer learning opportunities for all California students.
“Reading Rocks! National Summer Learning Day at the California Capitol” included:
Morning Kick-Off Rally and “Read-In” on the State Capitol steps – Led by Summer Matters’ Campaign Chair Superintendent Torlakson and state legislators, with special student spoken word performances by Youth Speaks Sacramento Area.
Summer Learning Literacy Fair – More than 400 students take part in engaging and educational literacy-themed activities in Capitol Park.
“Lunch with Your Legislator” where students discuss their favorite summertime books with California lawmakers over picnic lunch.
“Give Something Back – Summer Matters Video Booth” – Legislators, school district leaders, students and civic leaders go “on the record” about why summer learning matters more than ever at interview station courtesy of Give Something Back Office Supplies.
Participating lawmakers included State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).
Additional speakers included Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, Give Something Back CEO Sean Marx, Acting State Librarian, Gerald Maginnity, Sacramento Library Director, Rivkah Sass, Spoken Word Performance by award-winning Sacramento Area Youth Speaks.
“From my many years as a classroom teacher, I know firsthand that summer learning is essential to students’ K - 12 success,” said Superintendent Torlakson. “All California children should have access to high quality summer learning every year to help them gain and maintain knowledge and skills that matter for school and life.”
“The Summer Matters campaign is proud to enjoy strong support from California lawmakers and our growing coalition of business leaders, school districts, parents and students, here at National Summer Learning Day and every day,” said Summer Matters Campaign Co-Chair Jennifer Peck. “With new research in California showing how summer learning substantially strengthens students’ success, it’s vital that every California student is able to reap the benefits of summer learning.”
National Summer Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of the importance of summer learning programs and their effectiveness in preventing student “summer learning loss” and engaging students in essential academic, enrichment and physical activities during the summer months.
A vast body of research shows that a lack of summer learning and enrichment opportunities leads to “summer learning loss” – a loss in students’ academic skills and knowledge during the summer months that sets students behind academically and leads to increased drop-out rates and unhealthy weight gain.
Findings in a new California study – Summer Matters: How Summer Learning Strengthens Students’ Success – show that students taking part in high quality summer learning programs substantially increased their academic and socials skills and improved their work habits and confidence in their abilities as learners.
Learn more about Summer Matters at: www.summermatters2you.net.