PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As students settle back into classrooms, schools in low-income communities across Philadelphia are beginning a long recovery process. Each summer, elementary-aged students in low-income communities suffer a 3-month academic loss relative to higher-income peers. By 8th grade, these losses accumulate to a 2-year gap.

This summer, a startup did something different for 42 families in Kensington. Summer Learning Initiative combines targeted K-3 instruction with parent training and incentives.

Families push toward reading growth goals linked to rewards from books to laptops.
After one month of programming, students made 3 months of academic growth and wrote their own memoirs. Each week, teachers led workshops equipping parents with effective strategies for reading with their kids. These workshops averaged 94.2% parent attendance, nearly 10 times the historical average.

These are 42 families and one school on a new trajectory. But what about the millions across our country that aren’t so fortunate? Imagine what we could do for them next summer.

Visit the Summer Learning Initiative pitch on YouTube.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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