Tell Congress to support dedicated funding for summer programs

New program would keep school libraries open at school summer meal sites

The phenomenon of summer learning loss is well known. We also know that low-income students are least likely to have access to key resources that keep them safe, healthy, and learning over the summer months. Unfortunately, school resources like libraries and cafeterias are often idle in the summer months.

On July 10, 2019 the House and Senate introduced the bipartisan Summer Meals and Learning Act of 2019 (S. 2070 and H.R. 3667), a bill to create a new federal grant program that provides grants to state libraries to allow schools with summer lunch programs to keep their libraries open for student use during the summer months. This bill is modeled after the successful Oregon Summer Learning, Library, Lunch (SL3) program. Read NSLA's statement of support for the bill here.

Watch video of Congressman Joseph Morelle (NY-25) discussing the Summer Meals and Learning Act on the House floor.

The bill would:

  • Provide grants to state libraries to fund summer reading programs at schools that 1) have a summer lunch program and 2) where at least 50% of students read below grade level or are at risk of reading below grade levels;
  • Enable state library programs to award sub-grants based on the proposed number of school lunch sites and the number of students that will be served under the summer early reading program;
  • Be authorized at $5 million in funding over five years.

You can make a difference: call on Congress to support this innovative summer program to open school libraries to students most in need through the summer months.