Rochester Summer Learning Collaborative: Impact • Successes • Lessons Learned

600 Students & Families Served • Summer Learning Collaborative in 2020

For the member organizations of the Summer Learning Collaborative (The Collaborative), it became clear in early spring that summer learning would not be “business-as-usual”. The COVID-19 pandemic had posed countless challenges to learning in a standard classroom environment; creating beneficial summer programming was sure to come with its own array of setbacks. In order to best assess the needs of the Greater Rochester community, these organizations surveyed families to determine where needs were greatest. It quickly became apparent that families wanted their children to have the opportunity to participate in summer programming, and thus, the Summer Learning Collaborative was born.

The Collaborative comprises Allendale Columbia LEAP, EnCompass, Horizons at Harley, Horizons at Warner/University of Rochester, Soaring Stars at SUNY Geneseo, Summer LEAP SUNY Brockport, Summer LEAP at West Irondequoit, Summer LEAP Pre-K, Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association, and Education Success Foundation. By uniting to serve families in our communities, The Collaborative was able to maximize its efficiency by sharing expertise, supplies, and resources. Member organizations worked together to create grade-specific Project-Based Learning Bags, or PBLs to be assembled and hand-delivered to families each week. Instructors then hosted virtual “lessons” to encourage students and families to work together to complete their work for the week. In addition to learning resources, families also received weekly bags containing meals and snacks for all children in the home. 

Lesson plans for students and families participating in the Summer Learning Collaborative were customized by grade level. For instance, students entering kindergarten focused on hands-on play, and learning through interactive units, while students entering sixth and seventh grades learned about social justice, and individuals who helped to create impactful change. More information about the content provided to students is in the presentation available here.

In just six weeks, 644 students from 502 different families received support. Moreover, 2,642 meal bags (over 16,000 meals!) and 2,464 PBL bags were delivered to families in Monroe, Livingston, and Steuben counties. Families also received individuals contact from teachers and staff over 6,700 times over the course of the program. Those who are interested can learn more about the impact of the Summer Learning Collaborative by using this Data Dashboard below.