New Schools for Alabama and Bloomberg Philanthropies Partner on comprehensive summer learning program
Published: March 3, 2023
Bloomberg Philanthropies and New Schools for Alabama today announced the launch of Summer Boost in Birmingham in the summer of 2023.
Summer Boost is a program to support summer learning at public charter schools for rising first through ninth grade students who have significant learning gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. All public charter schools in Birmingham currently serving rising first through ninth grade students can apply for Summer Boost which will allow them to create and run programs with a high-quality curriculum attentive to improving reading levels and math fluency.
Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Summer Boost in the summer of 2022 in New York City and 16,383 students from 224 New York City public charter schools participated in the program. Pre- and post-assessments show increased student proficiency in both English Language Arts and math. The percentage of students who met standards in math nearly doubled – and in English, it more than doubled. At the same time, the share of students scoring below even the most basic levels of proficiency dropped nearly in half. By the end of the summer session, far more students had caught up to roughly where they needed to be to start the new school year and get back on track for success.
In the summer of 2023, based on the program’s 2022 success in NYC, Summer Boost will again be run in New York City and will expand to Birmingham plus Baltimore, MD; Indianapolis, IN; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; San Antonio, TX; and Washington D.C.
The pandemic compounded the ongoing educational crisis in the U.S., resulting in significant learning loss, particularly for many 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. Yet, fewer large districts offered summer programs last year than they did in 2021, despite the need and an influx of federal funding. Summer Boost was established to address these challenges head-on and provide additional learning to rising first through ninth grade students to ensure they can catch up and pursue future higher education, employment, and wage-earning opportunities.
In Birmingham, New Schools for Alabama is partnering with Bloomberg Philanthropies to ensure local public charter schools are able to bring this opportunity to their students. Charter school leaders are eager to offer high-quality summer academic and enrichment programs but need private sector and philanthropic support to make it possible.
All of Birmingham’s charter schools serving rising first through ninth graders in fall 2023 are eligible to apply for funding through Summer Boost to help their students who are most in need of assistance. Each school will commit to measuring outcomes and ensuring consistent student attendance.