SESAME SUMMERS: A new report from WestEd finds that youth who participated in Electric Company (TEC) Summer Learning Program, a 36-hour summer enrichment unit spawned from the popular PBS Kids series of the same name, showed significant improvement in math vocabulary (41% pre to post assessment improvement), numeracy skills (20% improvement), and phonics skills (17% improvement). It's no surprise that students who take summer programs should do better in school--but this study provides solid evidence for the efficacy of such programs. As Mr. Ian Quillan of EdWeek blog points out, "the reach and effectiveness of summer programs is vitally important for students in low-income areas, who are most vulnerable to summer learning loss." TEC, created by the Sesame Workshop in conjunction with Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service, aims to replicate for students in need some of the summer enrichment camps or vacations typically available to more affluent students. The qualitative data from the report suggests TEC has made a strong start -- all 16 teacher participants reported "increased student morale and enthusiasm in their summer school setting." Read the full report here.