Bloomberg Philanthropies ‘Summer Boost NYC’ Summer 2022 Learning Program Launched at New York City Public Charter Schools
New York, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today Summer Boost NYC, a new program that will support summer learning at public charter schools in New York City for approximately 25,000 K-8 students who have significant learning gaps that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Together at an event at City Hall, Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that beginning today, all 241 New York City public charter schools currently serving students in grades K-8 can apply for the program, which will focus on providing learning to the lowest performing students. Summer Boost NYC is a $50 million initiative spearheaded by Bloomberg with generous support from Kenneth C. Griffin, Stan Druckenmiller, The Carson Family Charitable Trust, Robin Hood, Gray Foundation, and Walentas Foundation.
“After two years of school closures and inadequate remote instruction, students across the U.S. have suffered unprecedented learning loss,” said Mike Bloomberg. “The harm has fallen heaviest on the children who were already too far behind, especially low-income Black and Latino students. That could have devastating effects on their chances for graduating high school and going to college or beginning a career. Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks deserve credit for recognizing the crisis and taking immediate action by expanding Summer Rising across the city. The private sector and philanthropic groups also have a duty to step in and do what they can to help get kids back on track. This is an all-hands on deck moment. This summer is a valuable opportunity to make up for lost ground, and we’re not going to let it slip by.”
“Whether at a district school or a charter school, every young person should be invested in, and this $50 million investment will do just that,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Many of our sons and daughters had disrupted learning during the past two years because of the pandemic and deserve an opportunity to learn during the summer. This investment will help give young New Yorkers in the program the chance to grow, to learn, and to explore their talents and imagination. I want to thank Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies for creating the Summer Boost NYC program, continuing to make massive investments in our children, and showing an entire nation how to make our schools work for everyone. With their support, we are ensuring no young person is left behind.”
For two years, in-person learning disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying social and health-related effects have resulted in significant learning loss, particularly for low-income students of color. Research indicates that at the end of the 2020-21 school year K-12 students across the country were an average of four months behind in language arts instruction and five months behind in math instruction. The pandemic has compounded the ongoing educational crisis already facing many low-income students of color in the United States, and unless urgent action is taken, some may never catch up and their future higher education, employment, and wage-earning opportunities will be severely impacted.
Research also shows that high quality summer learning has the potential to address these learning gaps and improve performance in math and language arts. While New York City has expanded its Summer Rising program for 2022 – it will serve 110,000 students in grades K-8, up more than 10 percent from last year – the district, charter, and philanthropic sectors must work together to meet the needs of each and every student. Summer Boost NYC builds on the city’s initiative by helping charter schools, which 14 percent of New York City public school students attend, create or expand much-needed summer school programs.
“During the pandemic, students lost a lot of learning time. Try as educators might, it can’t and won’t all be recouped during the normal school year,” said James D. Merriman, CEO of New York City Charter School Center. “One important way to make up for time lost is expanded summer learning. I applaud Bloomberg Philanthropies and these other generous donors for stepping up and providing critical funding to make more and better summer learning a possibility. We can and will help students to get back on track. This program is a big step in students getting there.”
“We may not fully understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public education for years to come,” said Rev. Alfred Cockfield, founder of Lamad Academy Charter School and steering committee member of the Black, Latinx, Asian Charter School Collaborative. “However, we know for sure that our students and communities are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic with extensive social-emotional and academic needs unlike anything we’ve seen to date. There is no time to waste on addressing those needs and Summer Boost NYC will ensure our students have high-quality, intentional, and enriching programming over the summer months.”
Charter school leaders are eager to offer high-quality summer enrichment programs but need private sector and philanthropic support to make it possible. State education funding per pupil has historically been less to charter schools than to traditional public schools. All 241 of the city’s charter schools serving K-8 students are eligible to apply for funding through Summer Boost NYC to create and run programs which will, on average, provide five weeks or at least 20 days of learning. With a focus on collectively helping about 25,000 students entering grades 1-9 in fall 2022 who are most in need of assistance, schools will have flexibility in how they use the funding, which will let them target resources to where they are needed most, but each will offer a high-quality, half- or full-day curriculum attentive to improving reading levels and math fluency...