Summer vacation may seem like a godsend for kids, but for those students who lack the resources to pursue summertime educational activities, those months can be a blow to much of the previous year’s hard-earned academic work. This is an especially serious problem for low-income students whose parents don’t have the time or money to ensure their kids keep learning throughout the whole year. It’s called “summer learning loss,” and studies show that kids who aren’t given opportunities to continue learning in the summer can fall back 2.6 months in math, and 2 months in spelling, forcing teachers to spend as much as a month and a half reteaching material they’d already covered during the previous academic year.
So this month, the Junior Board of the Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice (more information on this extraordinary school is below) is raising money to support programs that take aim at summer learning loss. These include summer internships in NYC, study abroad opportunities, residential programs at schools like Syracuse University and Skidmore, AP camp, arts and culture classes, preparatory classes for incoming 9th graders, and more. The Bridge the Summer campaign will run from June 1 to June 27--graduation day for the class of 2015--and we are aiming to raise $10,000 to support these invaluable programs. On behalf of the students at SLJ, our profoundest thanks for any support you may be able to offer.
About Urban Assembly: The Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice (SLJ) is a public high school which serves a population of at-risk, low-income students from historically disadvantaged communities across Brooklyn and other boroughs—70% of them are living at or below the poverty line, and 75% of them are the first in their family to go to college. SLJ’s mission is to overcome the opportunity gap by providing its students with the rigorous academic, enrichment, and college-preparatory curriculum that will allow them to get into and succeed in college and beyond. SLJ does not screen its students, meaning that it accepts incoming 9th graders irrespective of academic ability. Through its three pillars of education—intensive academic instruction, robust enrichment offerings woven into the curriculum, and individualized college preparatory support—SLJ gives students the tools to create a brighter future for themselves. Most students arrive in 9th grade with a 4th or 5th grade reading level, but by 11th grade more than 85% pass the English Regents with a 75 or better. Last year, SLJ’s graduation rate was 88% compared to a citywide average of 68%. Of those, 82% matriculated in college, and 87% of SLJ’s 2013 graduates remain in college 18 months after graduation. Through the lens of social justice and with a view toward reducing inequality, SLJ promotes individualized education that draws on each student’s potential, while at the same time emphasizing students’ collective power as citizens to call for positive change in the world. The Adams Street Foundation is the in-residence, non-profit partner of the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice. Thanks to generous gifts from corporate and foundation partners and individual donors, ASF finances and delivers the enrichment programming and college and career services that SLJ would not otherwise have the resources to provide.