How to combat summer learning loss | KOB 4
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How to combat summer learning loss

Morgan Aguilar
June 13, 2018 07:03 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Despite hitting a record high graduation rate in 2016 at 71-percent, New Mexico is still ranked dead last out of all 50 states. While there are a lot of factors impacting that troubling statistic, many people believe it could be improved by expanding access to quality after-school and summer learning programs.

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“After-school and summer learning expose young people to their passion,” said May Sagbakken, Executive Director of the New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network,(NMOST). “They connect to school, they learn about career opportunities, all those important assets that you need to stay in school.”

A summer break without any educational activities can lead to summer learning loss and put a child behind at the start of the next school year. Sagbakken says children spend about 80% of their time outside of school, and when they aren’t in class they may be up to no good.

"Having access to quality summer learning is important to keep our children and young people safe, in a safe location, so they don't stay home alone or get into trouble,” said Sagbakken.

NMOST used to be called the New Mexico After School Alliance. In 2016, the organization changed hands from the Public Education Department to being sponsored by Explora. NMOST leaders advocate for equitable access to quality after-school and summer learning programs.

"Nationally we know that there's a 6,000-hour learning gap between low-income children and high-income children,” said Sagbakken. “We want to make sure that our children in New Mexico, and this is a largely rural, poor state, have access to the same opportunities as high-income children.”

NMOST leaders have mapped it out and found most of rural New Mexico does not have any state or federally-funded after-school programs. They plan to educate lawmakers about this gap when they ask for $2 million at the next legislative session.

In the meantime, parents can use their map to try to prevent summer learning loss in their child, and find the closest summer programs to them.

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Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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