United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

Point of Impact

It’s not your grandfather’s summer school

Second-graders in New Bedford tour the Whaling Museum and gain a hands-on learning experience about how blubber helps to warm the whales in the cold ocean water. Students from Boston Public Schools spend time at the Boston Harbor Islands, Hale Reservation in Westwood and the Berklee College of Music. Children in grades K-3 spend time at the beach, enjoying outdoor exploration through For Kids Only summer programs on the North Shore.

These aren’t just field trips, they represent the reinvention of summer school. Today’s effective summer learning programs are helping prevent the summer learning slide that disproportionately affects low-income students, while at the same time provide enriching opportunities that will excite children about learning. READ MORE!


United Way’s Summer Learning Collaborative is reversing summer learning loss by turning summer time into learning time for over 3,000 elementary school-age children at 25 program sites in our region. A partnership between United Way, BOSTnet, community-based organizations and school districts, the Summer Learning Collaborative improves children’s literacy outcomes by integrating literacy activities in fun and meaningful ways into existing summer camp programs in low-income communities.

Last year, one-third of children participating in United Way’s Summer Learning Collaborative were reading below grade level. An evaluation of the 2016 Summer Learning Program by Tufts University revealed 85% of participating children avoided summer learning loss and 64% maintained or increased reading skills.



Camp and Literacy Combine
for a Summer of Learning
“Not every kid has the chance to go to a summer camp. With this program we’re able to provide that as well as give them the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.”

Summer Learning resources

To download, right-click each link and “Save as.” All documents are in PDF format.