PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the Summer of Learning campaign
to address the issue of summer learning loss which disproportionally affects
low-income students and students of color in the public school system.
«Each year, summer learning loss causes our kids to fall behind in their education,»
said Mayor Elorza. «I asked a talented and diverse group of stakeholders for
recommendations on how to address this issue. The Summer of Learning campaign will
expand access to high-quality summer learning opportunities for our students and
help them keep the skills they need to succeed.»
The Summer of Learning Campaign will work with community partners to expand
opportunities for our youth and to ensure that summer learning becomes a priority
across our city for families, educators, providers, and students.
In Providence more than 60% of students suffer summer learning loss in reading and
more than 51% in math. Studies show that students from lower-income families are far
less likely to have access to summer learning opportunities, leading to greater
summer learning loss and lower graduation rates.
Students at the greatest risk for summer learning loss can lose up to 2-years of
grade-level reading and math ability by the time the reach fifth grade when compared
to children from higher-income households.
Recognizing this vast opportunity gap, Mayor Elorza commissioned a Summer Learning
Task Force of local experts to examine the issue in Providence and identify ways to
enhance and expanding summer learning opportunities for our youth.
The Task Force issued a report titled Smart Summers: Expanding Summer Learning
Opportunities in Providence.
The Summer Learning Task Force is comprised of the following school officials,
education policy leaders and members of community organizations:
Jennie Johnson (Co-Chair), Executive Director & VP, City Year Providence
Doris De Los Santos (Co-Chair), Exec. Director for Development, Partnerships &
Kerry Tuttlebee, Principal, Opportunity by Design High School
Joseph Morra, Senior Project Manager of Expanded Learning, United Way of RI
Ellen Cynar, Program Manager, Office of Healthy Communities
Susan Chin, Director of School Support, PPSD
Dulari Tahbildar, Executive Director, Breakthrough Providence
Madeleine Metzler, Assoc. Dean & Director of Summer School, Providence College
Gina Silvia, Supervisor of Scheduling, College & Career Readiness, PPSD
Jael Lopes, Director of Strategic Community Partnerships, PPSD
Christina Alderman, Associate Educator of Family and Youth Programs, RISD
Scott Lapham, Apprenticeship Director, AS220
William Black, Principal, West Broadway Middle School
Wendy Nilsson, Superintendent, Parks & Recreation
Alex Molina, Deputy Director of Quality Initiatives, Providence After School Alliance
Dr. Donald Halquist, Dean, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, RIC
Dilania Inoa, Elementary Education Program Manager, Swearer Center, Brown Univ.
Jan Mermin, School Health Policy & Program Specialist, RI Department of Education
Stephanie Geller, Policy Analyst, RI Kids Count
Michelle Novello, Program Coordinator, Providence Community Library
Cheryl Space, Youth Services Coordinator, Providence Community Library
Jim Berson, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Providence YMCA
Nina Pande, Board Secretary, PPSD School Board
Ruth López, Senior Research Associate, Annenberg Institute for School Reform
Ashley Belanger, Executive Director, Rhode Island Urban Debate League
Ray Watson, Executive Director, Mount Hope Neighborhood Association
Kath Connolly, Director of Partnerships, The Learning Community
Aeran Baskin , PhD Candidate, Harvard’s Doctor of Education Leadership program
Toby Shepherd, Grant Programs Officer, The Rhode Island Foundation
Ann Durham, Director of Quality Initiatives, Providence After School Allian