Head Start students get an extra head start to fight summer learning loss

It’s a hot July day in Baltimore. School has been out for a few weeks now, and the first day of the new school year is still eight weeks away.  That’s a recipe for summer learning loss.  

Sometimes referred to as summer setback, or summer slide, the ground that children lose each summer can have lasting effects — particularly on children in lower income groups.

Studies show that children who are engaged in high-quality summer learning beginning in pre-kindergarten are prepared to be on grade level for reading by third grade.  This solid early childhood preparation results in higher graduation rates up to four times that of their peers.

To help curb summer learning loss, SVDP gives a backpack full of books, pencils, craft items and workbooks to all of our Head Start students headed to kindergarten. The goal is to provide materials to help keep the young students' minds engaged during the summer months and generate excitement and enthusiasm for starting school ready to learn in the fall. 


Head Start student leads a class in Baltimore

A student at an SVDP Head Start classroom at the Pimlico Arts Center in Baltimore leads the class.

Amazon employees fill 330 backpacks

This year Amazon helped make the summer backpacks extra special by donating more than $8,000 worth of books, pencils, craft items and workbooks to all 330 of our rising kindergartners.

Amazon employees volunteered their personal time to fill all 330 backpacks, and deliver them to our seven Head Start sites across Baltimore City.

Every backpack is filled with an assortment of crafts and workbooks with drill sheets and fun problems.

Amazon Associates at the BWI fulfillment center

SVDP Director of Family Services for Head Start Ronda Cox (2nd from left), with Amazon Associates Committee volunteers who helped assemble the 330 backpacks at the Baltimore Fulfillment Center.

An Amazon Associate delivering backpacks to a Head Start class

Amazon employees volunteered their personal time to fill all 330 backpacks, and deliver them to our seven Head Start sites across Baltimore City.

Amazon Associates at a Head Start class in Baltmore

Amazon employees attended the graduation of 40 Head Start students at our Pimlico Art Center classrooms to meet and personally congratulate the students.

About Head Start

SVDP runs 42 Head Start classrooms at seven locations across Baltimore, which enroll 800 children each year.

Head Start’s primary goal is to help ensure students are kindergarten ready. SVDP provides preschool services, taught by certified teachers — and each family is provided a family support coordinator who helps parents access linkages to supportive services.

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