2019 Summer Debrief & Celebration: 10 Years in the Making

At the 2019 Summer Learning Debrief & Celebration, Superintendent Cassellius shared how summer learning will play a key role in her strategic agenda. She reflected on her own summer experiences among the 150+ education and community leaders in attendance:

“I learned about positive relationships with others. I learned about keeping my cabin clean. It’s an amazing opportunity for children to get out of their normal lives and get into enriching experiences – and very personal experiences – that really do make a difference for them, and made a difference for me.” – Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius

She shared how summer programs can be academically rigorous, but can engage students such that they don’t even realize they’re learning:

“Journaling, for instance, is working on their writing skills. Or spoken word. All of these things that they’re doing, and those interactions they’re having with you in your programs, are learning, but they don’t know it. Because it’s done within a relationship or in a fun and playful way. That should happen in our classrooms too.”

A panel of community leaders then discussed their perspectives on the future of summer learning. Klare Shaw from the Liberty Mutual Foundation moderated the conversation, which included James Morton, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston, Charles Grandson, Chief Equity & Strategy Officer of Boston Public Schools, and Margaret McKenna, President Emerita of Lesley University.

The panel emphasized the need to focus on summer as a means to close the achievement gap in Massachusetts, the second largest in the United States. They called for more children, more resources, and more communities, recognizing Boston’s 5th Quarter as a model in which learning and fun reinforce one another.

“When we all put in resources, we can build something even more dynamic than we already have.” – Charles Grandson, Chief Equity & Strategy Officer, Boston Public Schools

More than 66 organizations were represented at the event, where attendees reviewed data on program quality and student skill development in preparation for continuous improvement in summer 2020 and beyond. View the full data presentation here.

Thank you to all who joined us to cap off the 10th year of citywide summer learning. We look forward to partnering in new and deeper ways in the future to achieve #SummerForAll.