City and Nonprofit Partners Launch SummerScapeBmore
Thursday May 16th, 2019
Better Schools. Safer Streets. Stronger Neighborhoods.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. — Baltimore City is launching SummerScapeBmore, a collection of educational, enrichment and recreational opportunities for more than 28,000 young people this summer. The opportunities span 300-plus programs across the city, and are designed to stem summer learning loss, prepare students for college and career and keep students of all ages active and having fun during the 10-week break from school, June-August.
In recent years, a number of city agencies and local nonprofit organizations have worked to increase summer opportunities for Baltimore’s young people, particularly in parts of the city where resources and services have been lacking. The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s YouthWorks program has been a cornerstone of this expanded system of summer programs, providing some 8,000 students with paying jobs every summer since 2015. Other expansions have included additional summer programming in Baltimore City Public Schools, a growing range of community-based enrichment activities and a continued commitment to summer camp offerings by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.
And for the first time this year, the city is pulling these various efforts together under a single umbrella to capture both the size of the city’s investment in summer programming and the scope of opportunities available—and to make these opportunities easier for students and families to access and navigate. The result is SummerScapeBmore, a total of 28,300 summer program opportunities made possible by a $31 million collective investment by the city and its community partners and captured in an interactive map and downloadable list on the city’s website: human-services.baltimorecity.gov/summer.
The SummerScapeBmore programs provide a wide range of academic supports, arts and STEM programming, sports activities and college readiness. All are low- or no-cost to participating students, and many include free meals. And on the heels of the city’s SpringBreakBmore initiative to connect students to cultural and educational activities during spring break, they underscore the city’s and broader community’s deep support for Baltimore’s youth.
“We as a city and community continue to not just show, but to act on our commitment to our young people. This year’s $31 million summer investment, coupled with the year-round collaboration of our public- and private-sector partners to provide out-of-school opportunities for students, is proof that our young people are a top priority in Baltimore City,” says Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “We will reach more than 28,000 youth this summer. That’s a big number. But we know the need is far greater. I am grateful to all who are making SummerScapeBmore possible this year, and I look forward to continuing to partner with them to grow it further in years to come.”
Specifically, the SummerScapeBmore 2019 opportunities span:
- School-based extended learning, arts programming, coding, debate, dance and college readiness for more than 8,500 students in Baltimore City Public Schools
- YouthWorks summer job opportunities for 8,000 young people, ages 14-21, through the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development
- Summer camp for 3,000 students operated by Recreation and Parks
- Community-based literacy, STEM, arts and sports programs for more than 8,000 young people through programs funded by the Summer Funding Collaborative
- Summer programming for 650 Head Start students
Another critical summer program is the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Summer Challenge reading competition, which offers incentives to thousands of young people of all ages to read over the summer.
“The Summer Funding Collaborative understands that an investment in summer is an investment in Baltimore's young people and their families,” says Julia Baez, Executive Director of Baltimore’s Promise, the administrative backbone of the Summer Funding Collaborative . “By granting resources to support high quality opportunities this summer, the Summer Funding Collaborative aims to keep young people engaged over the summer and ensure they will have fun, build new skills, and are ready when it is time to return to school. We are committed to funding summer programs and are pleased that an overall investment of $31 million will support summer opportunities this year.”
While many of the SummerScapeBmore opportunities are already filled due to early registration processes (E.g., YouthWorks), many remain—though they are going fast. Visit the SummerScapeBmore webpage (human-services.baltimorecity.gov/summer) for a map with all participating programs citywide, a downloadable list of these programs and a form for program operators not included in the list who want to be added to the list and map.
The SummerScapeBmore goal: to make this summer fulfilling and fun for young people in Baltimore City and to let all families know about the opportunities available to them.