GRSLA is working to expand the number of tuition-free, high-quality, summer learning programs in Rochester. We are systematically approaching all 19 Rochester-area colleges and universities to start a summer learning program with the long-term goal of building summer learning pathways from Kindergarten through 12th grade at each institution.
GRSLA’s goal is to dramatically improve the high school and higher education graduation rates of low-income Rochester area students. The consortium currently has nine member programs—seven target K-8 children with six-week summer educational enrichment, one uniquely reaches out to elementary and middle schoolers in foster care, and another provides a two-week, residential college experience for older students.
Of comparably sized cities, Rochester currently ranks 1st nationally for both child poverty and extreme poverty, with 84% of the 30,000 students in the Rochester City School District qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Close to 50% of RCSD students do not graduate from high school on time and fewer than 18% are deemed ready to go on to higher education.
Summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the total achievement gap, with most of the gap between low-income 9th graders and their more affluent peers a result of accumulated summer learning loss during elementary school. Therefore, high-quality summer learning opportunities have a tremendous impact on urban students’ success, including high school completion, post-secondary education, and work force preparedness. Our wealth of local educational institutions working together offers the ability to positively impact the lives of thousands of these at-risk youth.