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In its third year, an expanded Summer Quest looks to prove its academic effects


As the city pushes to expand out-of-school time programming for middle schoolers, a summer camp with a mixed record will grow significantly next month.

NYC Summer Quest, a free, five-week program for low-income elementary and middle schoolers, has impressed parents and increased students’ preparation for school in the fall, according to surveys conducted by the Department of Education. Chancellor Carmen Fariña has repeatedly advocated for its growth as an antidote to summer learning loss, the phenomenon in which students—especially from low-income backgrounds—regress academically over summer vacation.

But pre- and post-program testing for middle schoolers revealed poor academic results in year one and inconclusive results in year two. As the program enters the final summer of its three-year pilot and the city prepares to add 1,000 spots exclusively for middle school students, Summer Quest is facing an important test.

“We all intuitively think there’s a lot of value, but to really show the academic effects, I think you need two to three cycles,” said Margaret Crotty, executive director of Partnership with Children, which has run a Summer Quest program for the past two years. “Our hope is that the third year is really when you see the gains.”

Read the full story on Chalkbeat New York.