SuperKids Camp of the Parks & People Foundation in
Baltimore is one of four programs nationally that will
receive the 2007 Excellence in Summer Learning Award from
the Center for
Summer Learning in Johns Hopkins' School of Education.
The others are Breakthrough Collaborative, Summerbridge
Pittsburgh and Morry's Camp. The winners will be recognized
during the center's national conference to be held April 18
to 20 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.
"Our 2007 award winners exemplify the type of
high-quality summer learning experience that should be
accessible to all young people," said Ron Fairchild,
executive director of the center.
The annual Excellence in Summer Learning Award
recognizes summer programs that demonstrate excellence in
accelerating academic achievement and promoting positive
development for young people, and seeks to find and draw
national attention to exemplary programs.
For the past 10 summers, the Parks & People Foundation
has operated SuperKids Camp, a six-week highly intensive
literacy-based program for elementary school students in
the Baltimore City public schools. Ten sites collectively
serve more than 1,000 children each summer.
The program combines reading skills improvement with
recreation and cultural enrichment activities. Campers
visit alternative learning locations such as college
campuses, museums, cultural and performing arts centers,
libraries, churches and community-based youth development
centers throughout the city. According to a 2006
evaluation, students' test scores were, on average, at or
above grade level at the conclusion of camp.
Breakthrough Collaborative is a national nonprofit
whose two-pronged mission is to launch low-income,
high-potential students on the road to college and to
inspire their young teachers to pursue careers in
education. To date, Breakthrough has positively impacted
the lives of more than 10,000 young people.
The key to Breakthrough is the
students-teaching-students model. The college and high
school students who teach middle school students serve as
role models and mentors as well. Often from the same
communities as the students, the teachers serve as examples
that the skills they teach lead to success.
Founded in San Francisco in 1978 as Summerbridge,
Breakthrough serves more than 2,200 middle school students
annually and employs 700 high school and college students
in 27 locations across the United States. Seventy-nine
percent of Breakthrough alumni are attending academically
rigorous, college preparatory high schools. As a result of
their Breakthrough experiences, 72 percent of teachers
enter the field of education, building and diversifying
America's teaching corps.
Summerbridge Pittsburgh is an exemplary local
affiliate of Breakthrough Collaborative. Like other
Breakthrough sites, Summerbridge Pittsburgh provides a
tuition-free, intensive academic summer program for
academically capable participants with limited opportunity.
The program serves lower-income middle school students from
the Greater Pittsburgh region for two consecutive summers.
All students take classes in mathematics, language arts,
wellness and public speaking. Students and their families
are supported through financial aid and career development
Ninety-two percent of Summerbridge Pittsburgh students
graduate from high school, and 80 percent have enrolled in
college, which is double the rate of their peers.
Morry's Camp, a year-round youth development
organization, provides a summer residential camp experience
for about 180 inner-city youth between 9 and 18 from the
New York metropolitan area. The camp provides
participants — who are referred by a teacher, guidance
counselor, social worker or after school staffer — with the
opportunity to develop social, recreational and educational
skills. Children are helped to identify their individual
goals and supported in pursuing them in the summer and
throughout the year.
One hundred percent of campers graduate from high
school, 80 percent enroll in an institution of higher
education, and 100 percent of participants in college have
remained in college.
"Celebrate Summer as a Season for Learning" is the
theme of this year's Center for Summer Learning conference.
A representative from each award-winning organization has
been invited to speak on a best practices panel that will
be held on Friday, April 20. The conference will also
feature concurrent workshops about integrated approaches to
learning, effective program management and understanding
research and influencing policy.
For more information about the conference, go to