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Opinion: With affordable housing, summer and after-school learning can start at home

Given that housing prices and rents in California far exceed what is affordable to the average working family, a disproportionate number of California families experience housing instability. Housing instability hits children particularly hard, and can significantly affect their ability to engage at school or even their ability to attend school regularly.

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier

We know that when children have a stable living environment they have reduced stress, better opportunities to learn and grow, and higher levels of literacy and academic achievement. Right now there is some incredible and groundbreaking work being done in affordable housing communities to deliver a range of vital supports to residents, including tutoring and learning enrichment programs for the children who call these communities home.

The after-school and summer learning programs administered in these communities give children and youth critical help they might not receive anywhere else, and dramatically increase their potential for bridging the achievement gap and succeeding in school.

After-school and summer programs, also known as expanded learning programs, provide a safe learning environment for students once they’ve left the classroom. The accumulating research continues to prove that expanded learning opportunities areessential to student success. Increasing the availability and quality of expanded learning opportunities within affordable housing communities helps provide low-income students with the solutions we know work to increase academic achievement, develop positive attitudes towards learning, and master the skills they need to succeed in life.

Read the full story on EdSource California.