Summer Learning

Why is Summer Learning so important?

Summer slide is the phenomenon where students lose academic skills and physical fitness over the summer. On average, students can lose two months of reading and 2.6 months of math skills each summer. Students also gain unhealthy weight up to three times faster during the summer months.

For some families, summer vacation represents an ideal time to explore parks and nature preserves, visit museums, zoos and cultural centers, volunteer, tackle creative projects, or go to camp. Children who participate in these types of activities are less likely to suffer the effects of the summer slide.

For children and young people who don’t have access to these types of activities during the summer months, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is committed to supporting and encouraging schools, libraries and other community organizations to provide children and families more high-quality summer opportunities.

The following learning opportunities help you make the most of the summer months!

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Complete your Summer Reading Pledge!

To keep Minnesota kids learning throughout summer, MDE has teamed up with MetaMetrics® to offer exciting and fun challenges to help students retain the reading skills they learned in the past school year, while ramping up their skills for the fall. This program offers free, self-directed opportunities that families and students can enjoy.

Here's how to participate:

  1. Visit the Find a Book, Minnesota website to sign up.
  2. Enter your child(ren)'s Lexile measure or grade level (find instructions on the Find a Book, Minnesota website).
  3. Help your child(ren) select categories of interest.
  4. View and refine your search results.
  5. Add books to your child(ren)'s reading list(s) and check them out at your local library. Students who meet the challenges by the end of summer can receive and print a certificate for their accomplishment. 



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Check Out your Local Library
In Minnesota, nearly every public library offers a summer learning program for kids. While it varies from library to library, most summer programs consist of two components: a fun way to track self-guided reading--sometimes even earning incentives--and tons of free and fun educational activities. Check with your local library to learn more about what they have to offer. Not sure where your local public library is? Please contact Jen Verbrugge, and she’ll happily help you find it.

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Complete your Summer Math Challenge!

The Summer Math Challenge is a free math skills program based on grade-level standards that help prepare students for college and career. The program is targeted to students who have just completed grades 1-7, and designed to help kids retain math skills learned during the previous school year. From June 17 through July 26, families can receive daily emails with fun activities and links to free resources. When the program ends, families can print an award certificate to celebrate their child(ren)'s summer math accomplishments!

Here's how to participate:

  1. Go to Quantiles Summer Math webpage to enroll your child(ren).
  2. Starting June 17, check your inbox for daily emails with fun math activities and resources.
  3. Visit the Quantiles Summer Math webpage regularly to read about the weekly math concept and earn badges.


View the Summer Math Challenge English flyer or Summer Math Challenge Spanish flyer for more information.

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STEM of Minnesota Opportunities
MDE is proud to team up with STEM of Minnesota to help provide a detailed list of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) opportunities for students at every grade level. Search for events, internships, programs, and opportunities by region, grade level, program type or topics. Visit the STEM of Minnesota website for a list of opportunities and other STEM resources.

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21st Century Community Learning Centers 
Community learning centers are created by partnerships between schools and community organizations to offer enrichment activities to students before or after school or over summer break. Check the current 21st Century Community Learning Centers Cohort lists for descriptions, participating locations, and contact information.

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Summer Arts Experiences
The Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) smARTpass program is a great way to keep kids learning this summer! This project offers metro area library users free or discounted admission to a range of Twin Cities museums and performances. Library card holders of all ages can experience the best of the Twin Cities’ arts and cultural scene, including the Minnesota Children's Museum, the Hennepin History Museum, Park Square Theatre, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more.

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Find Summer Programs offered by your School or District!

Many schools offer summer and after-school programs for students in grades K-8. These programs, referred to as targeted services, often address the needs of the whole child and are presented in different ways than lessons during the school year. Many students benefit from this approach, but not all school districts are able to offer this service. To learn more and find out if this option may be available in your school, contact your student's teacher or building's administration, or contact us.

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Resources for Schools and Districts

Visit MetaMetrics' Summer Learning Initiatives website to promote and encourage participation in reading and math programs, print flyers and certificates, and more.