City Press Release: Boston Summer Programs Boost Math, Reading, Social-Emotional Skills

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RAND, Wallace Study Affirms Goal Set by Mayor Walsh, Superintendent Chang

BOSTON – Wednesday, September 7, 2016 – Elementary students with high levels of attendance in Boston’s voluntary summer learning programs earned a clear advantage in math and reading over their peers, according to new RAND findings from the largest research study ever conducted on summer learning.

unnamed (3)The national study released today also points to an advantage in vital social-emotional skills, like self-regulation and relationships, for those who are high attenders of summer learning programs – defined as at least 20 days of a five- to six-week program.

“When we work together, set ambitious goals and have the courage and collaboration to follow through, students have an opportunity to thrive – the data in this report proves that,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We are excited to have new evidence on what works as we expand summer learning in Boston and continue to be a model for the nation in reducing the ‘summer slide’.”

Boston is one of five cities participating in the $50 million National Summer Learning Project, funded by The Wallace Foundation. The report, Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth, explains the impact of programs in summers 2013 and 2014. The six-year project will track student outcomes through spring 2017.

“Boston students who participated in summer learning walk into schools tomorrow better prepared to learn and succeed,” said Superintendent Tommy Chang. “Summer learning is critical to student achievement and this study shows that we can accelerate learning all year long.”

“This research compels us to look beyond the traditional school day and year when we think about education,” said Chris Smith, executive director of Boston After School & Beyond, the city’s lead partner on after-school and summer learning efforts. “There is work to be done, and we will collaborate with programs to improve our impact on students.”

To read the full release, please click here.