Metro

Boston doubles summer learning programs for children

Mayor Walsh and School Superintendent Tommy Chang sat together before announcing the record-breaking enrollment numbers for Boston summer learning programs.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Mayor Walsh and School Superintendent Tommy Chang sat together before announcing the record-breaking enrollment numbers for Boston summer learning programs on Thursday.

Boston will offer summer educational opportunities to nearly 12,000 children this year, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Thursday, more than doubling the number of students served in 2015.

“The research is clear: Kids who don’t learn over the summer fall behind in school,” Walsh said at Berklee College of Music, where city and School Department officials gathered with leaders from some of the summer programs. “That’s why these programs are a top priority, not just of mine, but of everyone in this room.”

Advertisement

Walsh said the rapid growth “shattered” his goal, set in July, of expanding the number of children served to 10,000 by 2017. The city, which had 79 programs in place last summer, will now work with 120.

Students will be learning not only in traditional classrooms, Walsh said, but through experiences in workplaces, the Boston Harbor Islands, the Blue Hills, and at Berklee’s City Music Boston program, a music education initiative for fourth- through 12th-graders.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang said summer gives students opportunities to pursue personal interests and develop curiosity. The city’s summer programs, he said, integrate academic study with experiences that enrich learning.

Chang said research shows that the “summer slide” — learning lost when students spend months out of school — accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap between ninth-grade students from low-income families and those from wealthier families.

“When it comes to student success, what happens outside school is arguably just as important as what happens inside school,” Chang said. “And learning should occur anytime, anywhere.”

Advertisement

Chris Smith, executive director of Boston After School & Beyond, a central partner in the city’s summer programs, said children born into poverty, on average, spend 6,000 fewer hours learning in preschool, after-school programs, and summer programs than middle-class children.

The city’s program, called the Boston Summer Learning Community, seeks to address that imbalance.

“It is summer learning, but it gives kids an advantage in the school year in academics,” Smith said. “It’s summer learning, but it also equips kids with skills to succeed in college and the workforce.”

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.