Two Scoops for Rochester Summer Scholars!

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September 25, 2015                                               Laurie Buckley, Rochester City School District
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District Hosts Ice Cream Party to Celebrate National Award

District staff and families of Rochester Summer Scholars

National Summer Learning Award Celebration

Monday, September 28, 2015 – 6:30 p.m.

School of the Arts
45 Prince Street

The Rochester Summer Scholars summer learning program is one of four recipients of the 2015 New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Awards. The National Summer Learning Association announced winners in August. This award recognizes summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for low-income children.

Rochester Summer Scholars is a voluntary summer program that includes academics and enrichment activities designed to help eliminate summer learning loss. This summer the program served over 600 children, providing daily instruction from District teachers in math and English Language Arts in addition to a variety of enrichment activities, including performance and visual arts, physical activities, and sports.

This free District-run program, which began in 2011, has a proven track record. Students who attended the summer 2014 program returned to school that September with stronger mathematics skills than their peers who did not attend the program, according to a RAND Corporation study released in December 2014. The RAND findings provided the first student outcome data in a six-year study of summer learning programs in five urban districts. Part of a $50 million project funded by The Wallace Foundation, Rochester is one of the five urban districts who participated in the study conducted by RAND Education, which used a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of summer programs on student achievement and social and emotional skills in the fall directly after participation in the summer program.

The students in this year’s Summer Scholars program participated in project-based learning, which included the creation of carnivals, gnome gardens, and races modeled after the television show The Amazing Race. Students also studied cooking with ties to famous Rochester delights, such as French’s mustard and Guglielmo’s, as they learned to can their own marinara sauce. Third-graders took part delved into theatre on famous Rochesterians while the fourth-graders experienced theatre through its production of Aladdin.

“We are delighted to see that the number of Rochester families choosing summer learning is increasing,” said Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D. “Summer Scholars is a unique program in that it balances academics and enrichment activities, which the District has used as a model for other summer learning programs, with the intent to add even more programs next summer.”