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Your Guide to Summer Learning Recruitment

Research shows that students with high attendance in quality summer learning programs gain an advantage in math and reading—but getting kids to sign up for voluntary learning programs isn't easy.

A new recruitment guide from The Wallace Foundation offers guidance on how to market summer learning to parents and students.

Summer Learning Recruitment Guide is based on the experiences of five large urban districts and their community partners that recruited thousands of children for voluntary summer learning programs.

Applicable to both school districts and community-based organizations, the guide contains detailed information on eight keys to success for summer learning recruitment:

  1. Understand your audience.
  2. Create engaging messaging.
  3. Create a written plan.
  4. Make your outreach consistent and assertive.
  5. Use trusted messengers.
  6. Build a relationship with parent and students.
  7. Make registration as easy as possible.
  8. Engage directly with students.

In addition to a menu of proven tactics—and whether they are required, recommended or optional—the guide contains examples and templates that can be used to recruit students, ensure they register and confirm their participation on the first day. These templates include sample copy for recruitment flyers, postcards, scripts for phone calls with parents, talking points for teachers and more.

The guide also includes insight from focus groups with more than 100 parents on how they think about summer and what would motivate them to sign their children up for voluntary summer learning programs.

Built on real-world lessons, the guide is designed to help programs plan a recruitment strategy that can be customized to work in their own communities.

Summer Learning Recruitment Guide is available online and in print at www.wallacefoundation.org.