This summer, 114 students from all over Boston have come together to dive deeply into their academics in order to stem potential ‘summer learning loss’. August Scholars was founded in 2008 by The Learning Project Elementary School, and what started with just 8 students has now hit record numbers.
The August Scholars program is intended for 3rd through 6th grade students who are currently performing below grade-level and who come from families unable to afford quality intervention services over the course of the summer. The program is available at no cost to its participating families, as it is fully funded by donors like Liberty Mutual, Arbella Insurance Group, the Lovett-Woodsum Foundation, the Crawford Foundation, and more.
In addition to its tuition-free program, August Scholars’ appeal lies in its careful attention to the individual. Through strategic academic support, teachers and counselors strive to increase each child’s self-confidence. “The program aims to replace any negative attitudes about their ability to learn with new confidence built on their scholastic success with us day to day,” says The Learning Project’s headmaster, Michael McCord. “By providing academic challenges that each student can successfully meet, our Scholars are provided convincing evidence over the three weeks that they are fully capable of learning and doing better in school.”
The academic program is also supplemented with hip-hop and African dance classes through the Tony Williams Dance Center, and music classes provided by the Community Music Center of Boston. Additionally, students participate in visual arts, physical education, and lessons from the Strong Kids and College Dreams curriculum in the afternoons.
Instruction is provided by experienced teachers who understand the value of each instructional minute, working one-on-one with students and in small groups to develop their math, reading, vocabulary, and writing skills. This year’s staff, the majority of whom have taught in August Scholars before, stems from The Learning Project, as well as Boston, Malden, Natick, and Philadelphia Public Schools.
This summer, August Scholars runs from July 20th to August 7th, and is hosted at both The Learning Project and Suffolk University.