Washington Post: New Evidence that Summer Programs Can Make a Difference for Poor Children


By Emma Brown | September 7 at 7:00 AM During their long, languid summers, lots of children forget the lessons they learned in school. But the hot empty months pose an especially big academic hurdle for poor children, whose families might not have time or money for camps or enrichment activities. Now new research suggests that school districts can stave off the so-called summer slide by offering free, voluntary programs that mix reading and math instruction with sailing, arts and crafts and other summer staples. The research also shows, … [Read more...]

Program Profile: America SCORES Blends Hands on Science, Soccer and Poetry to Create Whole Student Athletes


Integrating athletics, creative writing, arts, community service and STEM experiences, America SCORES provides students with opportunities to express themselves, collaborate with others, and engage in a healthy active lifestyle. Through this BoSTEM program, students work to build confidence and leadership skills while strengthening their abilities in math and writing and developing a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. “Our overall goal is to create a student athlete, student being first. We want students to be active throughout their lives, to … [Read more...]

Youth Today: Longer Summer Programs, Consistent Participation Needed for Learning Gap, New Report Advises


By Allen Fennewald, with Sarah Barr | September 8, 2016 Students who regularly attended summer learning programs experienced lasting increases in mathematics and language arts abilities, as well as an increase in social and emotional competency, according to the report “Learning From Summer — Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth,” released Wednesday by The Wallace Foundation. ..... In all five cities, school districts partnered with community-based organizations, including jointly designing and managing … [Read more...]

City Press Release: Boston Summer Programs Boost Math, Reading, Social-Emotional Skills, National Study Shows

City of Boston

RAND, Wallace Study Affirms Goal Set by Mayor Walsh, Superintendent Chang BOSTON - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - Elementary students with high levels of attendance in Boston's voluntary summer learning programs earned a clear advantage in math and reading over their peers, according to new RAND findings from the largest research study ever conducted on summer learning. The national study released today also points to an advantage in vital social-emotional skills, like self-regulation and relationships, for those who are high attenders of … [Read more...]

Data Findings Point to Highly Effective School Year Partnerships in 2015-16


On August 30, Boston Beyond's school year partners gathered for the semi-annual AQP and BoSTEM Summit to explore cohort-wide program quality trends for the 2015-16 school year, debrief about last year's data collection process, hear an update from Boston Public Schools, and discuss the plan for the year ahead. At the Summit, Jon Sproul and Miriam Rubin from BPS's Office of School-Community Partnerships provided an overview of the district's new five-year Strategic Implementation Plan, which includes a deliberate focus on increasing … [Read more...]

Chris Smith Represents Boston Summer Learning Community at National Academies Workshop

NASEM SL Workshop 2

On Thursday, August 25, Boston After School & Beyond's Executive Director Chris Smith joined national experts and thought leaders for a public workshop in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. During his opening remarks and an afternoon panel session on creating skill pathways, Smith shared the successes of the Boston Summer Learning Community with national audiences. The workshop highlighted the latest research on summer programming and explored the links, both existing and potential, … [Read more...]

Program Profile: Escalera Prepares Students for Success in College and Careers


Fostering student growth and achievement with a unique curriculum of college readiness classes, Escalera: Steps for Success provides rising high school juniors and seniors with the skills they need to pursue higher education. Partnering with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and Sociedad Latina, this SLP site has had a rewarding second year thanks to great staff and dedicated students. “Our students are self-motivated, passionate learners and have the privilege to be led by quality educators,” Daniel Davis, College Access and Career … [Read more...]

Chairwoman Peisch Observes Work-Place Learning at Boston PIC/Sociedad Latina’s Escalera Program


Building on recent visits to elementary-school and middle-school Summer Learning Project programs, policymakers concluded this series at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Representative Alice Peisch, Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, and DESE staff Cliff Chuang, Keith Westrich, and Nyal Fuentes were in attendance to see how summer learning can prepare high-school students for post-secondary success. Managed by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and Sociedad Latina, the Escalera Program combines college and career … [Read more...]

Program Profile: Thompson Island Students Learn through Exploration of Native Ecosystems


Engaging students with hands-on learning and adventures in nature, Thompson Island Outward Bound transports students from the city to the great outdoors, expanding on the traditional classroom experience to build students’ character and comfort with nature. Youth at this SLP site have enjoyed a range of unique experiences on the island this summer, from studying animal species to climbing ropes courses and taking field trips. “Each student becomes an expert on a species they identify with, and [they] are writing books all about them to share … [Read more...]

Youth Leadership Series: Courageous Sailing Builds Leaders at Sea, on Land, and in the Classroom


At the Summer Learning Summit on March 22, 2016, site directors from the Boston Summer Learning Community learned about the Youth Leadership Policy and Practice Brief and committed to expanding the opportunities they offer for youth leadership within their respective programs. Offering age-appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to youth ranging from fourth to twelfth grades, Courageous Sailing is among those that have pledged to increase opportunities for youth leadership and autonomy this summer. “Courageous’ official mission is to … [Read more...]