SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, July 14, the Mayor of San Francisco announced the return of San Francisco’s Summer Together Initiative, which also coincides with National Summer Learning Week. As part of this year’s programming, citywide events and activities will elevate the importance of keeping kids engaged, safe, and healthy every summer to ensure a school-ready return for the following academic year.
“As San Francisco kids continue to recover from the impacts brought on by the COVID pandemic, it is critical for us to do all that we can to support their academic and social needs,” said Mayor Breed. “We know that when we provide young people with resources and opportunities to succeed, they will go on to do great things. This partnership is an example of what San Francisco can do when we come together for the betterment of our youth.”
Now in its second year, the Summer Together Initiative supports the physical health, emotional well-being, and educational achievements of San Francisco’s children and youth, especially those in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, by offering free or low cost in-person experiences.
In 2022, 30,000 free or low cost in-person learning experiences for children and youth are being provided employing more than 4,000 educators, youth development professionals, and support staff throughout the summer months. Summer Together programs will operate at over 300 neighborhood sites across San Francisco.
“Through the COVID-19 pandemic and our recovery efforts, San Francisco has demonstrated its deep commitment to keeping our children, youth, and families safe, healthy, and resilient,” said Maria Su, Director, DCYF. “This summer, we will continue to do whatever it takes to strengthen, improve, and expand our programming to meet the needs of our children and youth as they overcome learning loss, and improve their emotional and mental well-being. Summer Together is critical for our goal to ensure every child and youth in our City leads lives full of opportunity and happiness.”
Summer Together is led by the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD), San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), San Francisco Education Fund and over 100 community-based agencies and private camps.
“Summer is a magical time for kids, and we are thrilled to partner with the Mayor and DCYF to provide opportunities for fun and enrichment for all, from girls’ skateboarding to teen adaptive recreation to swimming lessons and arts and sports camps,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. “This summer, Rec and Park is offering 10,000 camp slots at 42 different locations. In addition, we’ve provided more than 1,000 children with over $1 million in scholarships.”
“We are grateful to work with our City partners to provide students with a wide range of opportunities to continue learning over the summer months,” SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne said. “From STEM and literacy-focused programs to over 800 high school student internships, there are educational opportunities available to thousands of students in San Francisco through the summer.”
Funding for the Summer Together Initiative comes from a mix of private and public funds. This year, the Crankstart Foundation provided $20 million to enhance and expand summer programming experiences, including mental health supports; literacy and math supports; family support incentives and youth stipends; private camp scholarships; and a literacy and math summer and school year pilot.
“The San Francisco Education Fund is proud to support the Summer Together Initiative for a second consecutive year as a partner,” said Stacey Wang, San Francisco Education Fund CEO. “We’re honored to help provide important summer learning opportunities for San Francisco youth to minimize summer slide, forge friendships and learn new skills in summer camps across the City.
The YMCA of San Francisco is one of hundreds of summer camps participating in the Mayor’s Summer Together Initiative and hostedthe graduation ceremony for their Power Scholar’s Academy last week. The YMCA’s Power Scholars graduation is one of 47 National Summer Learning Week events that will take place across the City.
“Summer is a vital time to address learning loss that occurs for too many of our youth. There are over 1,200 at-risk youth enrolled in the Power Scholars Academy, our summer learning loss prevention program. During the pandemic, more youth are at risk of falling behind academically,” shared YMCA of San Francisco CEO Jamie Bruning-Miles. “Our program gives youth and their families back their power and confidence to achieve academically mitigating learning loss in math and literacy. Our 2022 Scholars graduate this week and we are excited to see the results!”
Written By Casey Jacobs