The Summer Scholars program will receive the 2005 Summer Learning Award from The Center for Summer Learning at The Johns Hopkins University during its national conference April 20 through 22, at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore.
The Summer Scholars program is improving the academic achievement and futures of disadvantaged children in northeast Denver. Its staff, teachers, teen interns and community champions have all contributed to helping children become successful learners. Over the past 11 years, Summer Scholars has provided summer literacy and recreation programs to over 11,000 academically struggling students. As a result of participating in Summer Scholars, 67 percent of students made gains in reading ability, with students in the early grades showing the greatest improvement. Parents reported a noticeable difference in their child's reading performance, and an increase in the amount of time they spent reading with their child.
Building Educated Leaders for Life and Harlem RBI were the two other finalists for the award. BELL provides summertime academic and enrichment activities to struggling students in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Harlem RBI is a youth development organization offering a continuum of services, from summer learning to job training and college preparation.
"Making Summer Learning a Priority" is the theme of this year's Center for Summer Learning conference. Participants will include summer program providers, researchers, youth development professionals, community-based organizations, policy-makers, teachers, school officials, and informal educators interested in improving the quality and quantity of summer learning opportunities for all young people. Speakers will include Karen Pittman, Forum for Youth Investment; Jennifer Rinehart, Afterschool Alliance; Donna Klein, Corporate Voices for Working Families; Heather Weiss, Harvard Family Research Project; Geoffrey Borman, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Harris Cooper, Duke University; and Alfonso Wyatt, Fund for the City of New York.
Since its inception in 1992, the Teach Baltimore Summer Academy, a program of the Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning, has provided engaging, academically beneficial summer programs to more than 3,000 Baltimore City Public School System students. Teach Baltimore has trained 378 college students from 64 institutions to serve as instructors in its program. These instructors have contributed more than 85,000 hours of service to local youth.
The conference will also feature concurrent workshops focusing on effective summer learning program models and strategies; federal, state, and local policies to support summer learning; and research and evaluation of summer programs. Reporters wishing to cover this event should call Amy Cowles at 443-287-9960.
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