Summer is the most unequal time in America. Through no fault of their own, children in racially and economically isolated neighborhoods fare worse than wealthier peers in education, employment, health, and safety.
Upending the notion that school alone is the great equalizer for historically disadvantaged kids, summer inequities compound over time and reveal themselves in achievement gaps and closing windows of opportunity after high school. Consequently, being racially and economically isolated leads to disadvantages in skills, social capital, and opportunity.
America needs a new social contract. Boston Beyond and the Boston Private Industry Council are well-positioned to demonstrate how major cities can accomplish the previously unimaginable: ensuring that young people, regardless of income or zip code, have transformational summer learning and employment that will help them escape poverty’s long shadow. This would create opportunity for a generation of learners and establish a new paradigm for cities across the country, for generations beyond.
Boston After School & Beyondwebsite: https://bostonbeyond.org/
Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity
When the city shut down for COVID-19, Boston Beyond's network of youth nonprofits stepped up. Our summer and after-school providers filled the void left by closed schools, offering safe places for children to learn, connect, and receive essential supports across every neighborhood. Boston Beyond pulled the network together in March 2020 to assess needs and offer support, ultimately raising $2 million in private funding to help organizations purchase critical equipment, expand hours, and make up for lost revenue. Our partners served nearly 10,000 young people through the summer via a blend of virtual and outdoor programming. In the fall, many of these partners became full-day “learning pods” where children could log on to remote school, interact safely with peers, and access crucial social and emotional learning opportunities. During our weekly Zoom calls, partners exchanged best practices, worked through challenges, and stayed up to speed on a fast-changing landscape.