Summer Learning

Child at playLearning shouldn't end just because school has. Kids who don't have access to summer learning opportunities can lose what they learn over the summer. United Way of Pierce County wants to make sure all kids have access to enrichment opportunities, helping them stay on track to succeed in the classroom.

FACT: Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.

FACT: By the end of fifth grade, disadvantaged children are nearly three grade equivalents behind their more affluent peers in reading.

FACT: More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school.

United Way is working with local partners like the Foundation for Tacoma Students and the Bethel, Tacoma, Clover Park and Franklin Pierce school districts to connect more kids to summer learning programs. By making sure more of our children have access to summer enrichment programs, we can help them avoid the "Summer Slide". Last year, the Foundation developed a web site to help families find opportunities. This year, United Way is working to expand the opportunities listed on the web site to include other communities in Pierce County. Visit the site to find Summer Learning Resources.


Another factor critical to a child's success is making sure they have access to books. That's why United Way is collecting books and distributing them to kids at local summer meal sites and through summer learning programs. As part of United Way's Day of Action June 19th, we are also building little libraries for local neighborhoods. The libraries will be filled with children's books. Kids in the neighborhood can borrow a book from the library or leave one to share with a neighbor.


Tackling an issue like summer learning requires resources. A gift of just $5 will provide one day of activities for a child. Make a gift of $25 and you can give that child a week of activities. Or with a donation of $250, you can provide a full summer of activities for one child. How many days will you help us provide?


There are also volunteer opportunities available!