Summer learning opportunities can go a long way toward closing the achievement gap.
Nearly two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap in reading between low- and high-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years. Low-income youth, in turn, are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
To help promote equity in learning for all students, The Fund supported the NYC DOE for NYC Summer Quest, a three-year summer learning program that infuses the best practices of academic preparation and enrichment with the fun of summer camp. NYC Summer Quest served nearly 5,000 students during the course of the program, which ran each summer from 2012 through 2014, and served as a blueprint for the current Summer in the City, district-wide summer programming offered by the DOE.
Among the learning opportunities students engaged in were dissecting frogs to study anatomy and build scientific vocabulary, planning a virtual trip across the world to bolster math and geography skills, and learning to design a blog. Kicking off these lessons were the camp-like activities of visiting relevant cultural institutions ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Botanical Gardens, to the Queens County Farm Museum and the Intrepid.
Summer Quest was made possible with the support of the Altman Foundation, Catherine & Joseph Aresty Foundation, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Ford Foundation, Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The New York Community Trust, New York Life Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, Jack Rudin, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, William E. Simon Foundation, Spurlino Family Fund and Target Corporation.