A child spends 75% of their waking hours outside of the classroom - on weekdays before and after school hours, on weekends, and in the summer.
During this time, we witness growing gaps in opportunity between affluent learners, who often times have access to a variety of enrichment experiences that keep them engaged in learning during the summer months, and their less affluent peers, many of whom don't receive exposure to and information about accessing summer learning opportunities. This enrichment gap does not just contribute to the well-documented “summer slide.” Over time, it also results in gaps in exposure, exploration and relationships.
A specific pain point for parents across the socioeconomic spectrum is knowing how, when, and where to access learning in the summer. Although many parents want their kids to participate in more activities, they acknowledge information is hard to find, registration deadlines seem to sneak up, and spots are often filled before many families know to have summer on their minds.
After spending several summers manually searching for and inputting all the summer opportunities we could find into a spreadsheet, we decided to seek a more user-friendly and sustainable solution. During our search, we discovered a tool called Blueprint4Summer, created by the Clark-Fox Foundation in St. Louis.
In 2018, we expanded Blueprint4Summer to Denver, Boulder and Aurora as the first formal venture to be born out of ReSchool Colorado.
We know summer is only one piece of the learning puzzle. In the coming years, we expect to support more efforts to make the out-of-school landscape more accessible, meaningful and purposeful for learners and families. We refer to it as the "education anytime, anywhere ecosystem."