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In 2010, Boston Beyond helped launch a bold new approach to learning in the summer months. We worked with partners to design engaging, skill-rich learning programs in parks and museums, on college campuses, and other real-world settings all across the city.
With strong results and a robust network of 160 sites (and counting), our summer learning approach has now replaced summer school for the Boston Public Schools and is being adapted in communities across the state. Boston Public School’s commitment to expanding summer learning has helped the Boston Beyond network connect with more students and provide them with meaningful learning experiences.
Research shows that a large part of the achievement gap between students from low-income families and their peers can be explained by unequal access to summer opportunities.
We’ve learned a lot about what it takes to bring an engaging, impactful summer learning model to scale across a city. Here are four big lessons we’ve learned from ten years of leading Boston’s summer learning network.
Students can make big strides in academic and life skills while engaged in meaningful projects in the community. When youth have opportunities to apply new knowledge and skills in the real world, they return to school more motivated to learn and poised to succeed.
Many types of institutions have a role to play in mentoring and teaching the next generation. Working together, partnered institutions can maximize their resources and have a bigger impact on student outcomes.
Summer is a great time to develop skills for navigating college, work, and life. Skills provide a powerful, yet flexible common agenda, allowing partners to design diverse, industry-specific learning experiences that build these cross-cutting skills.
To create an effective citywide summer learning system, we need to know what’s working and what’s not. Shared measures solidify our network’s common focus, inform continuous program improvement, and keep everyone intent on what matters: better outcomes for kids.
Dig deeper into our lessons from 10 years of Boston summer learning.
The summer learning initiative is a great combination of committed non-profit organizations, the Boston Public School, and schools … and then Boston Beyond providing resources to make the partnership as effective as possible.