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As Students Continue to Suffer COVID-Related Learning Loss Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches Comprehensive Summer Learning Program to Help Thousands of Kids

“Summer Boost” will serve rising first through ninth grade public charter students in Baltimore, Birmingham, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C.

 Results from summer program piloted in New York City in 2022 showed increased student proficiency in ELA and math

NEW YORK, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that due to impressive results in New York City in summer 2022, they will once again run Summer Boost, its summer learning program for rising first through ninth grade public charter school students, in NYC during the summer of 2023. Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that given a greater need, they will expand Summer Boost to seven additional cities: Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Indianapolis, IN; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; San Antonio, TX; and Washington, D.C. All public charter schools in these cities serving rising first through ninth graders in fall 2023 can apply for the program, which will support students who have significant learning gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and who could benefit from extra support before the start of the next school year.

The Summer Boost program is receiving additional generous support from George W. Brackenridge Foundation, The Carson Family Charitable Trust, Choose to Succeed, Joe C. Davis Foundation, Stan Druckenmiller, The Ewing Halsell Foundation, Hyde Family Foundation, Pyramid Peak Foundation, Robin Hood, Scarlett Family Foundation, and others.

The results of Summer Boost NYC 2022 show increased student proficiency in both English Language Arts and math. The percentage of students who met standards in math nearly doubled – and in English, it more than doubled. At the same time, the share of students scoring below even the most basic levels of proficiency dropped nearly in half. By the end of the summer session, far more students had caught up to roughly where they needed to be to start the new school year and get back on track for success.

“Students across America continue to suffer from extreme levels of learning loss caused by the pandemic, and the best opportunity we have to help them catch up is during the summer months” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “Robust summer instruction helped thousands of New York City children get back on track last year, so this year we’re expanding the program to seven more cities — and we hope other cities and districts will expand their own programs. The country won’t be able to put the pandemic behind us until we put learning loss front and center.”

The pandemic compounded the ongoing educational crisis in the U.S., resulting in significant learning loss, particularly for low-income students of color. Research indicates that at the end of the 2020-21 school year, K-12 students across the country were an average of four months behind in language arts instruction and five months behind in math instruction. Yet, fewer large districts offered summer programs in 2022 than they did in 2021, despite the need and an influx of federal funding.

Summer Boost NYC was established last year to address these challenges head-on and provide high-quality learning to rising first through ninth grade students in the city’s charter schools — which 15 percent of New York City public school students attend — by creating or expanding summer school programs. State education funding per pupil has historically been less to charter schools than to traditional public schools. The inaugural year of Summer Boost NYC was spearheaded by Bloomberg Philanthropies with generous support from Kenneth C. Griffin, Stan Druckenmiller, The Carson Family Charitable Trust, Robin Hood, Gray Foundation, and Walentas Foundation.

In the summer of 2022, 16,383 students representing 224 New York City public charter schools across all five boroughs participated in the program. With a maximum student: teacher ratio of 25:1 – and as low as 4:1 in some schools – students received an additional 22 days of six-hour programming on average, including three or more hours of ELA and math instruction daily. Based on Summer Boost NYC’s pre- and post-assessments developed by the Lavinia Group, in alignment with prioritized New York Next Generation Learning Standards:

  • In ELA, there was an 18 percentage point increase in students scoring ‘proficient’
  • In math, there was a 19 percentage point increase in students scoring ‘proficient’

“Forte Prep was grateful to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies through the 2022 Summer Boost program,” said Graham Browne, Founder and Executive Director, Forte Preparatory Academy in Elmhurst, NY. “The additional funds empowered our school to compensate our incredible teaching staff, provide students with summer transportation support, and invest in top-quality curriculum that targeted key skills that students missed during the lost months of learning amid the pandemic. We are proud to say that Forte Prep students grew 27 percentage points in ELA proficiency and 31 percentage points in Math proficiency as measured by a pre-test and post-test.”

“The pandemic has had a serious and ongoing adverse impact on New York City children. Summer Boost offers students the kinds of support they now need most: more learning time, personal attention, arts and enrichment activities, along with healthy socializing in a caring environment that they missed during the pandemic,” said Dr. Deborah Kenny, Founder and CEO, Harlem Village Academies in Harlem, NY. “By providing each school with the autonomy to personalize their summer program, Bloomberg Philanthropies is empowering educators to meet the needs of each local community. And for our schools last summer, Summer Boost was a game changer.”

Because of the strong gains in New York City, and the continued need to ensure students can catch up and pursue future higher education, employment, and wage-earning opportunities, Bloomberg Philanthropies will run Summer Boost again in NYC in the summer of 2023 – and working with local leaders will expand the program to public charter schools in Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Indianapolis, IN; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; San Antonio, TX; and Washington, D.C. Nationwide, this summer Summer Boost could serve more than twice the number of students who were supported in New York City in 2022.

Any charter school serving rising first through ninth graders in these seven cities is eligible to apply for funding through Summer Boost to create and run programs which will provide at least 20 days of learning. Schools will have flexibility in how they use the funding, which will let them target resources to where they are needed most, but each will offer a high-quality program with curriculum that is attentive to improving reading levels and math fluency of students who are most in need of assistance. Each school will commit to measuring outcomes and ensuring consistent student attendance. Public charter schools should apply by March 22 and all schools granted funding will be notified by April 14. More information can be found at

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About Bloomberg Philanthropies national effort to advance public charter schools
In December 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a national five-year $750 million effort to advance public charter schools in 20 U.S. metro areas, including New York City. Investments will be made in public charter schools whose student populations have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and where, on average, more than 80 percent of students receive free and reduced-price lunch, and more than 90 percent are children of color. This work will create 150,000 additional seats for children in high quality charter schools across the country.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Media contact:
Rachel Nagler, Bloomberg Philanthropies