Big Opportunities to Support 2021 Summer Learning

By Guest Contributor Lisa Wolfe

Summer learning is a big topic this year among educators and plans are taking shape for many school districts now. While many school districts traditionally offer students some type of summer learning program, this year is seeing a surge in these offerings as educators and parents strive to ensure that students are on track for back to school in the fall.

Several governors, including those from California, Kansas, and Virginia, are pushing for more summer learning. Some states are even considering extending their 2021-22 school year or starting back earlier in the fall. Many cities, such as Los Angeles and Atlanta, are talking about expanding their summer programs, and New York City recently announced it will offer a new program called “Summer Rising,” with an open invitation to free summer school for any student grades K-12 who wants to participate.

And there is money to support these expanded programs. The combined money in the Federal Education Stabilization Fund provides a total of $279 billion for education, with $30 billion allocated specifically for summer school, after-school, and other enrichment programs.

Depending on the model for summer learning, schools may still have technology needs or may need to purchase health and safety equipment for their teachers and students. Additionally, education leaders may be looking for professional development opportunities to give teachers the tools they need help them transition.  All of which, again, can be paid for with federal relief money.

Parents may also be looking for learning resources for their kids and turning to public libraries for help. Whether it is an online learning program, games or worksheets, classes, and other activities, public libraries are often where parents look for learning support in the summer. Combined, the March 2020 CARES Act and March 2021 American Recovery Act earmarked $250 million to help libraries reopen their doors and provide patrons with access to much-needed technology.

In fact, a recent National PTA-Learning Heroes survey showed that 62 percent of parents think their children are behind where they would be during a normal school year,* This suggests that parents are already searching for summer learning activities.  Education marketers will want to make sure that libraries have what they need to support students and parents this summer. You can reach the more than 9,000 main public libraries, 8,000 branches and nearly 50,000 librarians with MDR data.

Summer learning 2021 is just one more example of the inspiring ways that schools–and libraries–continue to step up to meet the needs of students during this unconventional year. MDR can help you reach and engage these educators by developing campaigns that feature your resources and solutions. Contact us at

*Source: New Poll Reveals Parents’ Perspectives on Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic

Lisa Wolfe is the president of L. Wolfe Communications

Founded in April 2000, L. Wolfe Communications offers its clients a network of senior, experienced public relations executives with a variety of complementary experience and expertise in public relations and communications for the education and library markets.