Last July, Mayor Walsh and Superintendent Chang praised the expansion of summer learning in Boston and set a citywide goal to serve 10,000 students in 100 programs by 2017. Building on this momentum, the Boston Summer Learning Community is on pace to dramatically increase the number of organizations, sites, and students participating in summer 2016.
Last week Boston After School & Beyond hosted a welcome breakfast for new and expanded summer partners, formally introducing representatives to this vibrant coalition centered around common measurement, peer-to-peer learning, and collective impact.
Boston’s Chief of Education Rahn Dorsey joined the event, framing the vision for the urgency of the work ahead: “We need to reshape how we think of learning: where it takes place, who shapes learning, and what we focus on. The K-12 sector does not own learning; it happens anytime, anywhere.” According to Dorsey, summer learning is vital to this process because it provides young people with “rigor, relevance, and real-word learning.”
Dorsey attributes the rapid growth of the Boston Summer Learning Community — from 232 students in 2010 to over 5,600 students in 2015 — to successful systems building and collaboration. But this progress, as Dorsey suggests, does not mean that the work here is done. “Our goal should be to get 100% of Boston youth connected to high quality summer learning opportunities,” said Dorsey.
BASB staff also provided further insight into the different initiatives that organizations can join, as well as the rationale and benefits for partners to participate in a unified system of data collection and measurement. For more information on how organizations can partner with BASB, please view the 2016 Partnership Guide pamphlet.
The 12 new organizations taking preliminary next steps to join the 2016 Boston Summer Learning Community include: Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention; Berklee College of Music’s Berklee City Music; Bridge to Calculus; Generation Teach, Inc., Health Resources in Action’s The LEAH Project; Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center; Project RISE; St. Stephen’s Youth Program; Suffolk University Upward Bound; Summer Early Focus – Boston Public Schools Early Childhood; Wheelock College; and WriteBoston.
The Boston Summer Learning Community will also see expansion from within the current network. Notably, nine current summer partners are projected to increase the number of participating sites this summer, and four current school-year partners — Imajine That, HMS MEDscience, Thompson Island Green Ambassadors, and VietAid Scholarly Program for Youth — are looking to expand their participation beyond the academic year.
In total, the 12 new organizations and 13 expanded organizations are expected to operate approximately 50 additional sites across Greater Boston this coming summer.