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Schools Chancellor Hopeful as Pilot Summer Program Reaches Final Year

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For a couple of years now, the city has been trying out a special summer program to help students retain what they learned during the school year. Now, that program is in its final summer and the schools chancellor says the results are promising. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

When school's out for the summer, studies show kids can actually forget what they learned the year before.

That's amplified for low-income students, who can lose up to three months of learning.

"You can go home and be bored and be sitting there and playing games and video games and TV," says one student.

For three years, the city and several major philanthropists have been trying to find a solution with a pilot program called Summer Quest.

The program—which combines summer school and summer camp—involves thousands of students in the Bronx and Brooklyn. It's cost about $14 million—half in public, half in private funds.

"One of the kids said it perfectly. He said I come to summer school so that I don't forget what I learned," says Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

Fariña visited one of the 22 sites at P.S. 154 in the Bronx Tuesday, a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio highlighted some of the city's other, less-structured, summer enrichment programs.

Unlike most education initiatives started by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Summer Quest was immediately embraced and quickly expanded by the de Blasio administration. It fits in seamlessly with the mayor and chancellor's education agenda, which is focused on expanding the time students spend in school with programs that combine academics, enrichment and social support.

"They will help you with anything that you, like, have trouble on. Aalso camp is always having fun because you get to go to trips," says one student.

But as we first reported last fall, the results have been mixed. In the first year, Summer Quest students didn't retain any more knowledge than students who didn't participate.

So for the second year, the program added more hands-on, Common-Core-based learning and better planning.

And researchers found that improved things.

"We're very excited about the results that we're seeing and, specifically, the high level of student and parent involvement and administrator happiness," Fariña says.

Even before the results are in for this final year of Summer Quest, the Chancellor says she hopes to expand it next year. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP