Thursday, July 11, 2019
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza joined representatives from the Providence Public School Department (PPSD), Generation Teach program Founder and CEO Laura Zahn, participants of the GT STEAM Academy, and community members at Nathan Bishop Middle School to proclaim July 8-13 National Summer Learning Week in Providence. A tour of programs and activities focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math will be held after the signing ceremony. National Summer Learning Week underscores the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy during the summer break, ensuring they return to school ready to succeed.
“National Summer Learning Week highlights the importance of providing enriching summer programs so our kids don’t fall behind, but rather get ahead during the school break,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “With the support of our community partners over 1,000 of our kids will continue to learn and grow in our free summer learning programs this year. Our students deserve these opportunities that prepare them for success in the classroom and beyond.”
In 2016, a report issued by a Summer Learning Task Force convened by Mayor Elorza noted that on average across the summers of 2013, 2014, and 2015, 56 percent of Providence students experienced summer learning loss in reading and 50 percent in math. The findings emphasized the need for robust investments in programming.
For a third consecutive year, Providence families will have access to a slate of free summer programs through investments leveraged by Mayor Elorza and the Providence Public School District (PPSD). Over 1,000 students entering K-12 grades have enrolled in six enriching programs designed to stem summer learning loss and build social-emotional skills. Summer 2019 programs include: The Inspiring Minds Summer Learning Program, Generation Teach STEAM Academy, Believe to Achieve Summer Learning Academy, YMCA’s Camp Ok-Wa-Nessett Summer Skills Program, College Visions’ College and Career Exploration Program and the newly launched Providence English Learner Summer Program by PPSD.
Generation Teach (GT) offers summer learning experiences that introduce college and high-school students to teaching, reverse summer learning loss for middle-school students, and develop professional teachers as coaches and leaders. GT is a winner of the 2018 National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award and is an AmeriCorps program. Launched in 2014, GT serves over 1,000 middle-school students, 230 college and high-school students, and 80 professional educators every year.
“We are honored to partner with Providence Public Schools and the City of Providence to learn with and from the amazing Providence middle-school students, to develop the next generation of Providence teachers, and to empower Providence professional teachers to lead,” stated Generation Teach program Founder and CEO Laura Zahn.
Generation Teach holds STEAM Academies which are open to all Providence public middle school students (rising 5th graders through rising 8th graders). STEAM Academies consist of a five-week, free, full-day program available to students at all seven district middle schools. Courses include engineering, math, reading, and social studies, as well as world languages, STEM experiments, arts, and sports.