January 10, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Announces 'Summer of Learning' Initiative

Innovative Public-Private Coordination Infuses Learning Into Summer Programs for Children

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the City is embarking on a new Summer of Learning initiative, which represents an innovative public-private coordination to infuse learning into summer programs that young people across the city attend when school is out. Summer programs run by City agencies and supported by City funds have already signed on to this initiative, and today the Mayor issued a “call to action” for all organizations that run summer programs to join the effort.

“Summer programs help our children stay safe and engaged during the summer, but they also represent a robust opportunity to continue learning year-round,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This initiative for the first time prioritizes learning as a critical piece of summer programming and we are calling on all organizations that serve our children to join.”

Summer of Learning represents the first coordinated and dedicated approach of its kind for youth in every neighborhood to access high-quality programs that will help them continue to learn even when school is out. Some examples of how learning will be infused in City-funded summer programs are:

  • Reading in the Parks: Summer programs operated by the Chicago Parks District will include 20 minutes of dedicated reading time.
  • Rahm’s Readers: The Rahm’s Readers program, operated through the Chicago Public Libraries, will be expanded outside of library locations and open to children enrolled in programs at community organizations and non-profits, especially those aimed at younger children.
  • Financial Literacy: Summer youth job opportunities coordinated through the City’s One Summer Chicago program will include financial literacy trainings at the start of the summer.

To date, summer programs operated or supported by City agencies, such as Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Libraries, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Housing Authority and the Department of Family and Support Services, have signed on, representing over 120,000 opportunities. The Mayor’s Office has also already received commitments from dozens of non-profit organizations to participate in this initiative through its existing One Summer Chicago program, representing an additional 17,000 opportunities.  Interested organizations should email summeroflearning@cityofchicago.org for more information.

Summer of Learning will specifically focus learning activities around the theme of STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education.  This builds on Mayor Emanuel’s commitments to provide each student with a well-rounded education that includes the arts and ensures students develop the skills and knowledge to succeed academically and compete for the careers of the future. These initiatives include: a full school day for CPS schools, the opening of five Early College STEM Schools, the implementation of the new CPS arts education plan, a $1 million investment to support 60 new CPS school learning gardens that provide students with hands-on nutrition and science education and the launch of College to Careers to ensure City Colleges of Chicago students have an education that prepares them for in-demand jobs and careers in growing fields.

In 2012, City-funded programs offered opportunities for over 168,000 participants.


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