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The Problem

Children growing up in low-income communities simply do not have access to affordable programming that stimulate learning and development. The community agencies who provide care for children of low-income during the summer serve a critical mass of children, and are often strapped for resources and capacity to meet the needs of our nation’s youth.

Whereas children from affluent communities gain up the two months of learning, children from low-income communities are likely to lose up the three months. Over the course of many summers, these losses accumulate into whole years of learning loss.

The Solution

SummerCollab partners with community centers to execute high quality summer programming and reverse summer learning loss.  Together, we work to bring more choices and more chances to children in the state of Delaware.


Community leaders engage in year-round training that includes leadership development, schedule-creation, culture-building, and trauma-informed care.


To facilitate transformational change, community agencies can adopt a range of support roles that expand their capacity and impact, including Program Deans, Reading Specialists, and Instructors.


Campers in grade K-5 participate in hands-on, critical thinking curriculum to help develop problem solving strategies, collaboration skills, and perseverance.


At least 40% of campers in grades K-5 receive personalized, one-on-one or small group literacy intervention on a daily basis. As a result, we reversed summer learning loss for 86% of our campers, with overall gains of 3 months.

The Partnership

Social Contract worked with SummerCollab and over a dozen program partners to discover their greatest areas of need to make summer a smarter, more impactful space for student growth. Through a series of design sprints, SummerCollab and its program partners, including community centers like the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA, identified areas in which they needed greater capacity to make a deeper impact, including camp culture, programming, behavior management, and staffing.

As a result, SummerCollab established a year-round partnership model to work with community centers to bolster their summer programming so that instead of taking losses, kids would make serious gains. Camp leaders met routinely with SummerCollab’s program coaches to design better systems that would inform strong summer results. Periodically throughout the winter and the spring, camp leaders convened to work with experts like the Christina Cultural Arts Center, Wilmington University, Strive: How You Lead Matters, and Explo to reimagine what could be possible for their kids during the summer.

The Results

In 2018, 86.2% of campers reversed summer learning loss.

Campers gained an average of 0.6 months in sight word recognition.

Campers grew an average of 2 months in comprehension.

Campers grew an average of 7.7 months in vocabulary.

In 2019, SummerCollab is partnering with 13 community centers in New Castle County and Sussex County. Its 3 middle school academies, Tyler’s Camps, will reach hundreds of middle schoolers across the state. Its AmeriCorps accredited literacy program, the Summer Literacy Corps, will provide small-group and one-on-one literacy interventions to hundreds of children during a time they need it most.