This summer has been a busy one for Partnership with Children, helping us evolve and grow as an organization. Margaret Crotty joined as our new Executive Director in April 2012, replacing Michelle Sidrane, who has retired. Ms. Crotty has already made many exciting changes to the agency.
Our social work staff, led by Associate Executive Director of Programs, Barbara Cavallo, has used the summer to fine-tune aspects of our model and has recently completed a spectacular summer program, Summer Quest, for 120 students at JHS 296 in the South Bronx. Funded in part by the NYC Department of Education and the Fund for Public Schools, the selection process was very competitive with 11 partnerships being selected out of 45 applications. This 6-week program provided 6th – 8th graders with a unique educational enrichment curriculum as well as opportunities for social-emotional growth. The program was designed to combat summer learning loss, which is defined as the lost knowledge students experience over the summer months due to a lack of structured educational programming. Studies have found that summer learning loss contributes to the achievement gap between low and high income students. While most students lose an average of two months of mathematical computation skills over the summer, low income students, in addition, lose more than 2 months of reading achievement, while their middle class peers make slight gains in reading achievement. The increasing gap between higher and lower income students can be explained partially by unequal access to summer learning opportunities, which may hamper a lower income student’s ability to graduate or attend college.
Partnership with Children’s Summer Quest program was designed to meet the needs and interests of students, in addition to aligning with the DOE curriculum standards. For the first half of the day, students worked with a teacher and Partnership with Children social worker in an academic enrichment setting to strengthen their education. The afternoons were run solely by Partnership staff, where students applied their knowledge through off site field trips, media literacy and projects that align with NYS social studies standards. Summer Quest was a great success and pushed us closer to preventing summer learning loss and promoting summer learning gain that will ultimately help to narrow the achievement gap. Just for fun, I have attached some photos of our summer program students.
Please know that our success in providing vital educational and behavioral support to children and youth in high-poverty communities is a direct result of the generous support of friends such as you. Thank you again for your kind contribution and commitment to the young people of New York City.
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