SAIL – Summer Adventures in Learning

The Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) Partnership focuses on summer programs where students can explore and gain the support they need to prevent summer learning loss. Through this important partnership, funders commit to using a joint application process for nonprofit organizations seeking grant support to add or enhance academic components to summer youth programs. Data shows that most students lose two months of mathematical skills every summer, and low-income children typically lose another two to three months in reading. Research also shows that the effects of participation in a summer learning program can benefit the child for at least two years afterwards. Local experience in Birmingham has shown average gains of at least two months in reading and math during a five to six week program, making a significant positive difference for these children.

SAIL students participate in a target group of learning-enriched summer youth programs that may also incorporate feeding programs and enrichment activities.  SAIL provides networking opportunities, resources, and assessment for participating programs.  The coalition of funders and participants regularly meet to exchange insights on administrative and educational successes and how they were achieved, as well as discuss obstacles encountered and how they were overcome.  The creation of these types of communities is spreading throughout Alabama with new SAIL communities in cities like Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.  Each community is designing SAIL in their own way but they all have the common goal of turning summer learning loss into a gain for their kids.  Almost 2,500 students participated in the over 45 programs, see SAIL 2018 Annual Report.

The Daniel Foundation is proud to be a partner in this collaborative effort that goes beyond the traditional approach of a single funder, awarding a single grant, to one program that is working to address an issue in isolation.  We have allocated funds since 2012, to support existing programs and communities and help develop new SAIL communities.

For more information please contact Suzy Harris-SAIL Program Manager at