Make Summer Learning a Public Priority

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Commonwealth Story

Throughout Massachusetts right now, there is a tale of two summers playing out.

Parents with financial means are organizing camps, vacations, and lessons for their children. These experiences will stimulate curiosity, build background knowledge, contribute to social and emotional development, and expand social networks. They will also prepare young people for the school year ahead. Young people from low-income families too often can’t or don’t find these opportunities, participating at just half the rate of their wealthier peers.

Policy leaders often focus too narrowly on the four walls of the school and overlook decades of research on this main driver of the achievement gap.

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Program Profile: Camp Harbor View in the News

rsz_130campharborview09Camp Harbor View: A haven from racism 
By Sharon McNally and Jack Connors

Two weeks ago, 700 people gathered at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in the Seaport District to support the work of Camp Harbor View, a summer camp and year-round program for inner-city kids between the ages of 11 and 17. It was an outpouring of immense generosity, and the proceeds of the evening will ensure that Camp Harbor View’s programs endure — this year, our 10th, and beyond.

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rsz_1rsz_1campharborview1Camp Harbor View points at-risk kids toward a better future
By Thomas Farragher, The Boston Globe

It’s the brainchild of then-Mayor Tom Menino and Boston businessman Jack Connors. In late 2006, Menino was worried about violence among teens in many city neighborhoods. Connors remembered visiting Long Island when he was a young boy. The city now owned the place, a former military base, and the mayor and the businessman had an idea. By the next summer, on the same day a young Jamal Grant climbed aboard the bus, Camp Harbor View welcomed its first 300 campers.

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