Several years ago, after two decades of success with the Horizons at Harley program, The Harley School made a commitment to catalyze the formation of regional affiliate programs and establish a strong summer learning partnership with the Rochester City School District. Harley raised resources from its constituency to fund the start-up of several affiliate programs.
In 2010, the University of Rochester and EnCompass piloted affiliate programs. In 2011, Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, and SUNY Geneseo joined in the formation of GRSLA to serve a total of 345 students.
In 2012, the number of students grew to 423. In the summer of 2014, Allendale Columbia and SUNY Brockport joined and began offering summerLEAP programs. The total number of low-income Rochester-area students served in summer 2015 was almost 1,000.
All summerLEAP programs balance academics, physical activity and enrichment to prevent summer learning loss, build academic confidence, and encourage a life-long interest in learning. GRSLA member programs achieve strong quantitative and qualitative results, with two-thirds of our incoming cohort students below class average in academic performance:
- Students demonstrate a 1-3 month gain in reading and math skills each summer (as opposed to the average 2-3 month loss experienced by low-income students without summer learning)
- Students return summer after summer (average return rate is five years and growing; 95% of 2010 students returned in 2011)
- An average 95% daily attendance rate
- For students who attend for three or more years, over 90% graduate from high school on time and over 75% go on to higher education
- High student, parent and teacher satisfaction rate.
To learn more about summer learning loss, here is an animated video further explaining the issue at hand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahhj3wxxkdM)