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Project Information

Project Information

Summertime Experiences and Child and Adolescent Education, Health, and Safety

Project Scope:


An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report on the state of the science on how summertime experiences affect school-age children (PreK-12) across three areas of well-being: 1) education, learning, and achievement; 2) health and risk for obesity; and 3) risk-taking, safety, and involvement in antisocial behavior.  The committee will review the available literature on summertime in the context of these three areas, and make recommendations to improve the experiences of children over the summertime to reduce risky behaviors and promote healthy development and learning, as well as outline future direction for research. The committee will focus on the following questions:

•         How well are children in PreK-12th grade functioning over the summer across three areas: health, education, and safety?

•         How do the various sectors (e.g., education, health, justice) intersect with children and youth over the summer to influence their overall well-being?

•         What are the broad categories of programs that serve children and adolescents over the summer, covering education, health, and safety?

•         What is the research evidence that examines the impact of children's summertime experiences on learning and achievement, risk for obesity, and involvement in antisocial behavior and violence?

•         What does research tell us about the effectiveness of various approaches to summer learning programs run by schools/districts, libraries and museums, community based organizations, and independent program providers (including summer camps)?  What role do (can) these programs and providers play in addressing nutrition and fitness issues?

•         What does research suggest is the role for parents in addressing summer learning, health, and safety?

•         What lessons can be learned from research in other countries on how to structure children's summertime experiences?  

The final report will inform federal, state, and local policy decisions about how best to use the summer months to support the healthy development of America's children.

Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 20 month(s)

RSO: Blain, Natacha


Behavioral and Social Sciences
Health and Medicine

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 06/22/2018

Dr. Martin-José J. Sepulveda - (Chair)
Martín-J. Sepúlveda, M.D., Sc.D., (chair) is an IBM fellow, member of the National Academy of Medicine and CEO of CLARALUZ LLC, an advisory and project consulting firm specializing in health data, analytics, technology, health and health systems. Dr. Sepúlveda is a current member of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BCYF).In addition to his service on BCYF, he has also participated in numerous committee and roundtable activities within the National Academies including the Committee on Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Young Adults). He also serves on several boards outside of the National Academies including the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and the Council on Research for Development. Widely recognized for contributions in public and population health, private sector health care, wellness and health benefits innovation, Dr. Sepúlveda led a private sector collaboration with clinicians for medical home transformation leading to formation of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative. He has also collaborated with multi-disciplinary scientists on applied research for multi-sectoral data analytics related to health in cities, primary care transformation, and human performance in the workplace. Dr. Sepúlveda received B.A, magna cum laude, from Yale University, his M.P.H. and M.D. degrees from Harvard University, and his Sc.D. from the University of Iowa.
Dr. Karl Alexander
Karl Alexander, Ph.D., is executive director of the Thurgood Marshall Alliance (TMA). Dr. Alexander founded TMA in 2015 to assist Baltimore schools that are committed to economic and racial diversity. He presently holds appointments at Johns Hopkins as the John Dewey professor emeritus of sociology, Academy Professor, and, by courtesy, professor in the School of Education. He is past president of the Southern Sociological Society, past editor of the journal Sociology of Education, and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. For more than a quarter century, Dr. Alexander and colleague Doris Entwisle directed the Baltimore-based Beginning School Study, which tracked the life progress of 790 Baltimore children from first grade into mature adulthood. He is author of nearly 100 scholarly publications and 6 books. In addition to his work with the TMA, Dr. Alexander serves on the Board of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). His studies of summer learning loss in Baltimore have helped bring attention to the problem of “summer slide” among low-income children. With the leadership of NSLA, he is co-editor of The Summer Slide: What We Know and Can Do About Summer Learning Loss (Teachers College Press, 2016). Dr. Alexander received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Nisha Botchwey
Nisha Botchwey, Ph.D., M.P.H. is an associate professor of city and regional planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an adjunct professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health. She is an expert in health and the built environment as well as health equity, community engagement, and data dashboards for evidence-based planning and practice. Dr. Botchwey co-directs the National Physical Activity Research Center; the Atlanta Neighborhood Quality of Life and Health Dashboard; the data dashboard for Health, Environment and Livability for Fulton County; and directs the Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse. Dr. Botchwey has won distinctions including a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Woman of Excellence Faculty Award, a Rockefeller-Penn Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, and was a nominated Changemaker by the Obama White House’ Council on Women and Girls. Dr. Botchwey has also served on the Advisory Committee to the Director for the Centers of Disease Control Prevention and is a member of the Voices for Healthy Kids Strategic Advisory Committee for the American Heart Association. She received her B.A. from Harvard University, her M.P.H. from the University of Virginia, and both her master’s and Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Nancy L. Deutsch
Nancy L. Deutsch, Ph.D., is a professor of research, statistics & evaluation and applied developmental science at the University of Virginia and the director of Youth-Nex, the University of Virginia Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education. She is also affiliated with Curry's Youth & Social Innovation (YSI) Program. Dr. Deutsch's research examines the socio-ecological contexts of adolescent development, particularly issues related to identity. She has focused on the role of after-school programs and relationships with important adults. She is especially interested in the process of adolescent learning and development as it unfolds within local environments for better understanding about how to create settings that support youth, especially those at risk due to economic or sociocultural factors. In 2017, Dr. Deutsch became editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research. She also sits on the editorial boards for Applied Developmental Science and Qualitative Psychology. In addition to journal articles, she has published two books on youth in after-school programs. Her work has been funded by organizations including the William T. Grant Foundation, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education. She received her B.A. from Vassar College and Ph.D. in human development and social policy at Northwestern University.
Mr. Joshua Dohan
Joshua Dohan, J.D., is Director of the Youth Advocacy Division, the juvenile defender branch of the Massachusetts statewide public defender agency, the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Mr. Dohan became a public defender in 1988 and joined the Youth Advocacy Project, the predecessor organization to the Youth Advocacy Division at its inception in 1992 as its first staff attorney. Using a Positive Youth Development approach, YAD lawyers and social workers work with children and youth in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system to advance their legal and human rights, promote their healthy development, and help them achieve their legal and life goals. YAD also actively partners with other state agencies and community based organizations to help create safer and healthier communities. YAD has been recognized by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, The National Juvenile Defender Center, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, the MacArthur Foundation, and others for excellence in Juvenile Defense. Mr. Dohan is President of the Board for the Youth Advocacy Foundation, a founding member of the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Leadership Forum, a member of the LeadBoston class of 2001, a member of the Institutional Review Board of Tufts University, and a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University. Mr. Dohan is a former Peace Corps volunteer, received his A.B. from Harvard College, and received his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
Dr. Barry Garst
Barry Garst, Ph.D. is associate professor of youth development leadership at Clemson University. Dr. Garst’s research and professional interests focus on the developmental outcomes of youth programs and factors that influence program outcomes, with a particular emphasis on out-of-school time youth settings. A nationally recognized researcher in the area of summer camp experiences, his scholarship has also examined the meaning that youth and families attribute to nature-based experiences and the impact of these experiences on family functioning. Dr. Garst is currently examining overparenting and parental perceptions of anxiety associated with out-of-school time experiences. He serves on the National Evaluation Advisory Board for After-School All-Stars, the National Advisory Board for the Center for Adolescent Research and Education, the Healthy Camps Research Committee for the American Camp Association, and is chair of the research committee for the Association of Camp Nurses. He received his B.S. from Virginia Tech, His M.S. in recreation administration from Arizona State University, and his Ph.D. in Forestry from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Sandra G. Hassink
Sandra Hassink, M.D, MSc, is the Medical Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight. She was the founder of the Nemours Obesity Initiative at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE and past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Hassink has testified before Congress on childhood obesity, food insecurity and hunger focusing on supporting the foundations of child health. Dr. Hassink is the Medical Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight and has focused her career on preventing and treating obesity in children. She was co-principal investigator for the Healthy Active Living for Families project, which promotes active healthy living for parents and families of young children and was the principal investigator on an Obesity Cluster Grant developing population health management systems for children with obesity. Dr. Hassink is recognized internationally as an expert in child obesity prevention. She has authored numerous articles for pediatricians and parents and authored two books on pediatric obesity and pediatric weight. She earned her master's degree in pastoral care and counseling from Neumann College in 2000. Dr. Hassink received her M.D from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and completed her residency at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
Dr. Pamela Ann Hymel
Pamela Hymel, M.D., is chief medical officer for Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products (DPECP) where she is responsible for integrating a segment wide health and well-being strategy for the segment. In her current role, she is responsible for the day to day operations of the onsite occupational health services centers, guest first aid locations at WDW, disability/accommodation medical management, global occupational health issues and well-being strategy and programs for DPECP. She is focused on improving overall health for cast, crew & imagineers at WDPR. Prior to joining Disney in 2010, Dr. Hymel worked for 5 years as the corporate medical director for Cisco Systems where she planned the strategy and design of Cisco’s HealthConnections program and the integrative health, fitness and child care center, LifeConnections. She also spent 16 years at Hughes Electronics, last serving as vice president of Human Resources, Benefits & Health. She served as president of the American College of Occupational Medicine (ACOEM) from 2009-10 and was on their board of directors for over 10 years. She also was on the board of directors of the National Business Group of Health (NBGH) from 2005-2014 and the National Committee for Quality Assurance(NCQA) for a number of years. She continues to serve as co-chair the Wellbeing and Workforce Strategy Institute of NBGH. She led Cisco and Hughes Electronics to receive the C. Everett Kopp Award Honorable Mention. Dr. Hymel has a Masters of Public Health degree from Tulane University and an M.D. degree from the Louisiana State University Medical School.
Dr. Jennifer McCombs
Jennifer McCombs, Ph.D. is a senior policy researcher and director of the Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department at RAND. Her research focuses on evaluating the extent to which public policies and programs improve outcomes for at-risk youth. She is currently leading a five-district, longitudinal study investigating the effectiveness and implementation of voluntary summer learning programs for low-income elementary youth and an evidence review of summer programs. Her studies combine implementation and outcome data to provide practitioners and policymakers guidance on how to improve programs and promote student outcomes. Over the course of her career, she has studied the development of systems for out-of-school-time programs; how to improve teacher effectiveness; the implementation and impact of test-based promotion policies; and the effects of federal accountability policies on schools, classrooms, and students. McCombs earned her Ph.D. in public policy from The George Washington University.
Dr. Barbara Medina
Barbara Medina, Ph.D., teaches as an adjunct faculty for the University of Northern Colorado, Center for Urban Education. Dr. Medina began her career as a classroom teacher, serving K-12 students and educators throughout her career. From her first position as an educator serving students in a rural migrant summer program to her leadership at the Colorado Department of Education as Assistant Commissioner, she has been actively involved at the district, state and national levels in the areas of language and literacy for diverse populations. Her work has focused on equity for cultural and linguistic diverse students and their families. During Dr. Medina’s 37-year career in public education in Colorado, she has served in various roles including: Coordinator of Secondary-level Second Language Programs in Boulder Valley Schools; Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Adams State University; Assistant Commissioner Colorado Department of Education; Director of the Office of Language, Culture, and Equity at the Colorado Department of Education; and Director of English Language Acquisition in Denver Public Schools. Dr. Medina has served on several boards. She served two terms on the City of Denver’s Denver Human Rights Council, appointed by Denver’s Mayor Hickenlooper, and on the Latino Commission, appointed by Mayor Hancock. She holds a doctorate in educational policy from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Dr. Deborah Moroney
Deborah Moroney, Ph.D., is a managing director at American Institutes for Research (AIR), and she serves as the director of the Youth Development and Supportive Learning Environments practice area. Dr. Moroney’s research and practice experience is in social and emotional learning and youth development. Dr. Moroney is the architect of a collaborative method for the design of dual purpose (improvement and demonstration) evaluation frameworks. She has led numerous projects aimed to explore the factors that influence child and family well-being including a Global Scan on Child and Family Well Being. She works with national multi-site programs including the YMCA of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, and Every Hour Counts. Additionally, Dr. Moroney serves as the principal investigator of city and statewide evaluations including a collaborative project with the Partnership for Children and Youth in California and the citywide evaluation for School's Out New York City. She serves as member of the Afterschool Technical Assistance Collaborative for the C.S. Mott Foundation’s statewide afterschool networks. Dr. Moroney’s work demonstrates a value in bridging research and practice. She serves on the publications committee of the Journal of Youth Development and is a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, including Afterschool Matters. Dr. Moroney has authored numerous chapters and publications on social and emotional development and assessment, including Social and emotional learning in out-of-school time: Foundations and futures. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Moroney was a clinical faculty member in educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Youth Development Graduate Program. Dr. Moroney holds a Ph.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Mr. Chris Smith
Chris Smith, M.B.A. is president and executive director of Boston After School & Beyond (Boston Beyond), an organization that expands learning and skill development opportunities for students by mobilizing partnerships among program providers, philanthropy, business and higher education, the Boston Public Schools, and the City of Boston. Over the past two decades, Mr. Smith has created, scaled, and led cross-sector partnerships in education and workforce development. Under his leadership, Boston Beyond has developed a nationally recognized model of summer learning that improves student outcomes, built a citywide program performance measurement system, and cultivated a network of 230 programs serving more than 18,000 students. Previously, Mr. Smith worked at the Boston Private Industry Council, where he collaborated with business leaders to integrate work and learning in order to help thousands of students graduate, and with legislative leaders to address the dropout rate in Massachusetts. He began his career at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC, where he coordinated partnerships for the Secretary of Education. Mr. Smith earned a B.A. in American studies from Trinity College and an M.B.A. from Babson College in Wellesley, MA.
Dr. Rachel L. Thornton
Rachel Thornton, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Thornton is a board certified pediatrician and public health researcher who previously served as a health policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and worked on the National Prevention Strategy and Implementation Plan. Her policy work addresses “health in all policies” with an emphasis on housing, community development, and urban planning policy. Her research focuses on childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease risk, health disparities, and social determinants of health. Dr. Thornton has expertise in racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Her scholarship is focused on informing the development of novel interventions to eliminate health disparities by addressing individual-, family-, and community-level factors that contribute to disparities in child and adolescent obesity and cardiovascular disease risk. Dr. Thornton received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Thornton received additional fellowship and postdoctoral training in behavioral aspects of cardiovascular disease and general academic pediatrics and later in public policy as a White House Fellow.



Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  

Description :   

Public Session Agenda will be posted soon.

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Stacey Smit
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-1993

Is it a Closed Session Event?


Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Stacey Smit
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  202-334-1993



1:00 p.m. Welcome - Martín Sepúlveda, Committee Chair

1:05 p.m. Introductions and Remarks on Study Statement of Task from Study Sponsors

1:25 p.m. Committee Discussion with Sponsors

2:00 p.m. Public Comment and Questions from Audience

2:15 p.m. Concluding Remarks - Martín Sepúlveda, Chair
Is it a Closed Session Event?

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Karl Alexander
Nisha Botchwey
Nancy L. Deutsch (via Zoom)
Joshua Dohan
Barry Garst
Jennifer McCombs
Barbara Medina
Deborah Moroney (via Zoom)
Martín-J. Sepúlveda
Chris Smith
Rachel Thornton

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Day 1: July 11, 2018


8:45 a.m. Welcome and Overview of the Meeting
9:00 a.m. Introductions of Committee Members and Staff
9:15 a.m. Overview of the Committee and Consensus Study Process and Guidelines for Conclusions and Recommendations
9:45 a.m. Bias, Conflict of Interest, and Confidentiality Discussion
11:10 a.m Preliminary Discussion of the Charge to the Committee, Study Timeline, and Topics to Include
12:10 p.m. Working Lunch
2:30 p.m. Revisit Study’s Statement of Task
4:45 p.m. Adjourn Meeting for the Day

Day 2: July 12, 2018


8:45 a.m. Methodology
10:00 a.m. Methodology, continued
11:00 a.m. Working Group Assignments
12:00 p.m. Working Lunch
1:00 p.m. Discussion of Meeting 2
1:45 p.m. Media/Communications Briefing
2:15 p.m. Review Study Timeline and Work Assignments
3:00 p.m. Adjourn

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

Briefing book

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
July 12, 2018


  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office

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