Mayor and Superintendent Praise Expansion of Summer Learning, Call for 10,000 Youth in 100 Programs by 2017

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With more than 6,500 Boston students signed up to participate in 79 summer learning programs this year, city officials announced Monday that they want to boost those numbers to 10,000 students and 100 programs over the next two years.

Mayor Marty Walsh joined Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang and other city officials beneath the morning sun on the tennis courts of Dorchester’s Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center Monday to celebrate the rapid expansion of the Boston Summer Learning Project.

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Mayor Walsh made the announcement surrounded by Boston students and nonprofit leaders at the Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center in Dorchester alongside leaders from the Boston Public Schools and Boston After School & Beyond.

“When we create opportunities for our young people we set them on a pathway to a successful future, and build a stronger city,” said Mayor Walsh. “I thank our partners for their support, and urge more summer programs to get involved to support our future.”

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Unlike traditional summer school programs offered exclusively in school facilities, the Boston Summer Learning Project immerses youth in new, exciting environments-such as natural preservations, the Harbor Islands, college campuses and workplaces-with an explicit focus on building skills in addition to academic content. Each program is full-day and offers a comprehensive list of enrichment activities to complement more formal academic instruction.

These programs support specific groups of students, including English language learners, recent immigrants, off-track high school students, youth assigned to mandatory summer school and rising 9th graders. Several of these programs are part of national research examining the effects of summer learning in school-year performance and social-emotional development.

“Research suggests that this rigorous model of summer learning gets results,” said BPS Superintendent Chang. “The Summer Learning Project is showing us how to use time and place differently in order to boost the skills necessary for school and college success.”

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All 79 sites use the same set of measurement tools to assess program quality and student skill development from multiple perspectives. Trained observers and students themselves will evaluate programs on factors such as structure, support and engagement.

“Summer is a prime time for learning and innovation,” said Chris Smith, executive director of Boston After School & Beyond. “Especially when different programs use the same measures to gauge success.”

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Recent Press Coverage

Boston Globe, July 13: Enrollment doubles in city summer learning project.  https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/07/12/enrollment-doubles-city-summer-learning-project/BGCoQ4bmZvPW5lbahD0F7M/story.html

Boston Herald, July 13: Summer school project set to double enrollees. http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/07/summer_school_project_set_to_double_enrollees

WBUR, July 13: Walsh, Chang aim to boost enrollment in Boston’s summer learning. Programshttp://www.wbur.org/2015/07/13/walsh-boston-summer-learning-programs

Patch, July 13: Thousands of school children participating in summer programs across Boston. https://patch.com/massachusetts/jamaicaplain/thousands-school-children-participating-summer-programs-across-boston

Sustainable City Network, July 13: Summer opportunities for more than 6,500 Boston school children Announced. http://www.sustainablecitynetwork.com/topic_channels/community/article_44b22848-29c9-11e5-ba65-e77c90a9ac5b.html

Nashoba Publishing, July 13: Summer learning kick-off. http://www.nashobapublishing.com/ci_28475899/state-house-advances

BNN, July 13: Boston expands summer learning.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Njs4G0am_A

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