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Working Together to Support Out-of-School Time Learning
Addressing the Risks and Rewards of 3-6 pm


The bell rings, signaling the start of afterschool for a half million children in the Central Valley. For too many this time is unsupervised, marked by the risks associated with boredom and unstructured time.

The risky behaviors: bullying, drugs, gangs, alcohol, sexual activity, pornography, crime, suicide, and other self-destructive activities.

Valley Superintendents and Local Organizations Rally to Combat Summer Learning Loss

Parker and Students








According to the National Summer Learning Association, low-income students lose at least two months of reading and mathematics achievement during the summer months. But, research also shows that the achievement gap shrinks when students participate in summer enrichment programs.

In Central Unified School District (CUSD), administrators, teachers, and afterschool coordinators are all working hard to bridge that gap by providing engaging programs that ensure students experience the benefits of continued learning through the summer.

“Fundamentally the education community and general public has seen the summer as something that is extracurricular,” said Mike Berg, superintendent for CUSD. “I don’t see it that way. It is a way to level the experiential gap.”

This summer, CUSD will be hosting the Superintendent’s Summer Learning Summit for superintendents from all parts of the Central Valley who will observe some of the nearly 2,000 CUSD students participating in summer enrichment programs at the middle school, elementary, and pre-K levels.

Martin Luther King Middle School Introduces a New Way to Elevate Student Perspectives

MLK Main

For many communities with high crime, gang activity, and those living below the poverty level, it’s easy to see why it might be hard to find hopeful, engaged, and involved youth thriving while at school. Despite some of the external challenges the students at Martin Luther King (MLK) Middle School in Madera Unified School District (MUSD) may face, they find refuge in the environment they experience at school.

Those working in the afterschool program know the adversities students encounter outside the school’s four walls. Because of this, the afterschool administrators make a special effort to connect with them and listen.

“MLK really engages students to make them want to attend the program. They do that in a very difficult neighborhood,” said Kevin Clifton, site liaison for California Teaching Fellows Foundation (CTFF) and a nine-year veteran in afterschool leadership. Clifton, who oversees 22 schools in MUSD, adds that without the coordinator, Simone Montez, and the tutors coming together to create a genuine program, many students would fall into the wrong hands.


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