Professional Development

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Celebrating Summer Learning

"No more pencils, no more books

"No more teacher's dirty looks, yeah

"School's out for summer!"

It's likely you've heard these lyrics from a popular song from the early 1970s. The song was included on the School's Out album, released by American rock band Alice Cooper in 1972. The album was filled with songs about youth lost when leaving school and became a childhood anthem for many—including me— during the '70s and '80s.

What would the song lyrics and album be like today, since so much progress has been made in creating high-quality summer learning programs over the past 30 years?

Let's imagine: Would it be possible that instead of lyrics celebrating school being out and youth being lost that lyrics would share excitement about what summer has in store? Excitement about spending time with caring adults in a place where their voices are heard—where they are exploring interests and, yes, even having fun learning?

Maybe they would be:

"Summer's here and we're glad

"This summer program will be the best we've had!"

OK. So maybe that's more of a chant. But you get the idea!

If you're skeptical, you'll want to read on and learn more. If you're on board, you'll be excited to read more highlights, strategies and stories of success in the resources below!

Summer learning programs, with skilled staff who create positive experiences for and relationships with young people, can—and should—be a positive experience.

Possibly even something to sing about.


Written by Heidi Ham, Vice President of Programs and Strategy, NAA.

This article was adapted from and originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of AfterSchool Today.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages.