This month, two Boston State Representatives got the chance to join in on the summer learning fun! 7th Suffolk District State Representative Chynah Tyler visited Madison Park Technical High School with her staffer, Ryan Dominguez on Friday, August 3rd. Rep. Tyler, who is a member of the Joint Committee on Education, is deeply invested in Madison Park’s efforts and other summer learning sites across the network.
While visiting the school, Rep. Tyler got to see students engaged in a host of activities including cosmetology, wood working, baking and cooking. Many Madison Park students have also dedicated their summer to completing course work, though the fun for these youth people didn’t stop there. Rep. Tyler participated in two Algebra 1 courses, even taking it upon herself to help a group of students with their math project.
Rep. Tyler shared with her site visit host, Taneka DeGrace of Madison Park’s RoxMapp program, that the city hosts a wide variety of opportunities for students to learn and that her mission is to see that stronger partnerships between schools and outside agencies, so that career and college pathways that are grounded in 21st Century skills. Affording close to 13,000 students the opportunity to develop strong academic and experiential skills, the 5th Quarter directly addresses that challenge alongside countless local institutions and partners — all committed to helping Boston youth return to school in the fall better prepared to take on new challenges.
On Monday, August 6th, Zoo New England’s Summer Learning Program hosted 11th Suffolk District Representative Liz Malia for a visit at Franklin Park Zoo. Withstanding the summer heat, Rep. Malia took time out of her busy day to join students for Zoo New England’s signature ‘Animal Encounters’ programming. The Zoo New England hosts 40 students in 4th and 5th grade each summer.
Students in this program participate in ELA and math coursework, with a slight twist. All of their content is zoo and animal themed, thereby solidifying connections between academics and fun enrichment activities. This summer, students each selected an animal to research. Afterwards, they made dioramas of their animal’s natural habitat along with a simple machine like a pulley and lever or a simple bridge made from a large tree trunk.
Rep. Malia eagerly participated in the afternoon’s animal encounter, witnessing how students spend time with wildlife and learn about how the animals play and communicate. Monday was ferret day, and Rep. Malia even got in on the action. Afterwards, students showed her their dioramas and wrapped up the afternoon painting large decorative boxes for the animal exhibits.
Rep. Malia stressed the importance of ensuring that all Boston youth have access to local institutions and treasures, like the Franklin Park Zoo. She believes that there has to be both a balance of academics and fun in order to make learning meaningful. Rep. Malia also hopes that more young people in her district will have the opportunity to engage in novel learning experiences like those offered through the 5th Quarter, and will continue to be a strong champion for the issue, advocating that more funding and attention be paid towards summer learning.