Summer Learning

Why is Summer Learning so important?

Summer slide is the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills and wellness during the long summer break. On average, students in low-income households lose two months of reading skills and all students lose more than two and a half months of math skills over the summer. Children also gain weight two or three times faster during the summer months.

The following learning opportunities help you make the most of your child's summer!

Icon - Art green

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. From the Hennepin History Museum to Mu Performing Arts, and the Ordway, library card holders of all ages can experience the best of the Twin Cities’ arts and cultural scene.

Icon - Food green

Free Meals Over the Summer
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps local organizations operate programs, combining nutritious meals and healthy activities for children during the summer months when school-year nutrition and exercise programs are unavailable. In Minnesota, more than 100 sponsors operate more than 475 SFSP sites, serving 1.7 million meals per year. Find a site near you to enjoy free, nutritious meals and activities in your community throughout the summer.

icon - Library card

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.

Icon - Math green

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 is designed to help kids retain math skills learned during the previous school year. From June 18 through July 27, 2018, families can receive daily emails with fun activities and links to resources for free. When the program ends, families can print an award certificate to celebrate their child's summer math accomplishments!

Complete Your Summer Math Challenge!

  1. Go to Quantiles Summer Math page to enroll your child.
  2. Starting June 18, check your inbox for daily emails with fun math activities and resources.
  3. Visit Quantiles regularly to read about the weekly math concept and earn badges.
Icon - Reading green

Summer Reading Pledge
To keep Minnesota kids learning throughout summer, the Minnesota Department of Education 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.

Complete Your Summer Reading Pledge!

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

School and Program Resources
Programs may use the bookmarks and certificate below to promote their reading programs and encourage participation.

Minnesota Summer Reading Challenge Bookmarks

Reading Challenge Participation Certificate

Icon - STEM green

STEM of Minnesota Opportunities
The Minnesota Department of Education is proud to team up with STEM of Minnesota to help provide a detailed list of 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.

Icon - Backpack green

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. To find out if this option may be available in your school, contact your student’s teacher or building’s administration to learn more or contact us.

Icon - Learning Center green

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. To view a list of participating schools and communities and find contact information for how to participate, visit the 21st Century Community Learning Centers page.


V - Reading Time, Dad and Daughter
Enjoy Reading and Math Together Over Summer

Related MDE resources:

Related offsite resources: