Low-income children fall behind during the summer by as much as two months of reading achievement while their middle income peers actually make gains
— Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters, Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010

Summer slippage furthers the achievement gap – and there are few summer programs for elementary students in Boston. In response, we offer a five-week summer program which prepares kindergarten and first grade students to be ready to learn on the first day of school in September. The program benefits young students at risk of school failure – many of whom could be held back.

Volunteers provide classroom-based support through teacher-directed activities and one-on-one and small-group literacy support. Our goal is to help students develop a richer sight-word vocabulary and reading skills, though volunteers assist with other aspects of managing the program day.

During the summer program at the Trotter Elementary School, we were able to give a lot of one-on-one support to students and therefore support the areas where they had the greatest need. When I observed a group of first graders in class with a large group, I could see that they did not grasp everything the teacher was presenting. When I worked with them one-one-one I learned that they were not disinterested or unable to do the work. Rather, they were shy and intimidated about speaking up in a large group. I shared my thoughts with the teacher and together we were able to see a significant change in their readiness to do the work. They really blossomed!
— Ms. Lisa, Summer Volunteer