Summer Learning Day, on Friday, June 19, is an annual national advocacy day led by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to elevate the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer.

Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind—year after year—in core subjects like math and reading. The math and reading skills low-income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income kids.

Many kinds of high-quality learning opportunities during the summer can make a difference in stemming learning loss and ultimately, closing the country’s achievement gap.

This year for Summer Learning Day, NSLA is asking everyone—programs, families, schools, educators, policymakers, businesses—to make summer a season of learning by pledging to keep kids learning. The Dyersville area offers multiple opportunities for families to focus on summer learning together:

• St. Mark Youth Enrichment Summer Learning Program: This seven-week summer program is open to students entering kindergarten to fifth grade. The program has a strong focus on literacy but also infuses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) components and is presented in an interactive and hands-on learning way. A grant from the Dubuque Racing Association that was recently awarded will support one-on-one instruction from NICC for students who are enrolled and identified as ideal candidates. Families can learn more at www.StMarkYouthEnrichment.org

• James Kennedy Public Library Summer Reading Programs: The library offers programs to all ages of students as well as adults. Readers can earn incentives for reading a set number of minutes and are also invited to weekly programs to dig deeper into the state-side library theme of “Heroes.” These programs are free and are open to anyone in the area.

• Victory Ford-Reading for A Reason Summer Reading Program: Continuing on the success of the school year summer reading program, Victory Ford will offer a fun way for students to read in new places, read new genres of books, or read for a certain amount of time. Awards are available to any student who participates and submits their forms to Victory Ford.

• The Dyersville Campaign for Grade Level Reading-Acting as a support and cheerleader to endeavors that help students reach their grade level reading goals, the Campaign helps to spread awareness, facilitate discussion, and bring community members into the fold. To learn more about the campaign find them at facebook.com/DyersvilleGLR

National Summer Learning Day is supported by elected officials and policymakers, public agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, universities, museums, libraries and summer camps across the country.