Closing the Achievement Gap During the Summer
Partnership with Children is honored that Chancellor Dennis Walcott, of the New York City Department of Education, chose to visit our summer program this year! Partnership with Children ran one of the Summer Quest programs in the South Bronx for the second year in a row. The Chancellor, in addition to ABC News and Gotham Schools, visited our program for a full day to show his support for our program, and to celebrate it’s success. To view photos of Chancellor Walcott’s visit click here.
The Summer Quest program was a collaboration between Partnership with Children and the South Bronx Academy for Applied Media (SBAAM), working with 150 middle school students, to combat summer learning loss. This innovative summer program was built on Partnership with Children’s excellent, long-standing school year partnership with SBAAM, which deepened our understanding and our work with the students, families, school staff and the surrounding community. This year, we built upon our innovative curriculum for our Summer Quest program integrating social and emotional learning into a framework of academic rigor, in real world contexts, to provide opportunities for creative expression. As NYC Public Schools move toward complete integration of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), our Summer Quest program created opportunities for our students to deepen their contextual understanding of their world through collaborative problem solving and independent exploration. Student’s worked for five weeks to complete innovative projects focusing on the humanities themes of Immigration, the Civil War, and Ancient Egypt.
Partnership with Children’s Summer Quest program also hosted The Dream Big Academy, which collaborated with Kaplan K-12 & College Prep, to work with 30 of our 8th grade participants from Bronx districts 7, 9, and 10, to prepare them for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). Students who plan to apply to one of New York City’s Specialized high schools, and will be taking the SHSAT during the coming school year. SHSAT is a timed multiple-choice test covering both verbal reasoning and reading comprehension, and math competencies. Students are asked to form coherent paragraphs, answer questions of logical reasoning, analyze and interpret texts, and answer computational and word problems. The 8th grade students in our Summer Quest program all took pre- and post-practice tests to measure how successful our summer program would be at preparing the students for the SHSAT. Eighty percent of the students improved by an average of 14 percentage points, and the student with the largest improvement increased her score by 49%!
We are so excited that Chancellor Walcott came to recognize the success of our Summer Quest program. We truly implemented an innovative program where our students were exposed to new and exciting subject matter, while receiving the social and emotional supports that Partnership with Children has proven to lead to student and school success.