Over the summer: Students participate in a summer learning program in Palumbo | The key to learning
Thousands of Philadelphia students have taken advantage of the expanded summer learning program.
The program aimed to prepare students for the new school year after being out of the classroom during much of the coronavirus pandemic.
Through partnerships with the city, the Philadelphia School District, and local organizations, summer learning combined project-based learning with after-school programming.
The programs, which lasted five to six weeks, were held in person at schools across the city for K-12 students.
Through a partnership with the school district, the City provided opportunities through “PlayItSafe,” an initiative that connects children, teens and families to summer activities. The City also offered summer jobs to students.
More than 2,000 schools in the Philadelphia School District and out-of-time providers have supported students.
“The whole program went well,” said Ali Robinson-Rogers, executive director of the district’s Post-Secondary Education Preparation Office. “We’ve never tried to deliver such a large, integrated program before, so while this was new to us, it’s something we really want to continue to do in the future.”
At Palumbo Academy, students participated in three main programs, including Summer Bridge, Quarter 5, and Credit Recovery. Approximately 165 students completed the program at the high school in the Bella Vista neighborhood of Philadelphia.
“The Summer Bridge program has provided grade 8 through 9 and grade 10 students additional support in the areas of English and math,” said Kristin Williams Smalley, deputy director of the Academy At Palumbo. “Just reinforcing what they know will help them in their transition to high school, because ninth graders have never been to high school either.
“Our Quarter Five program was designed for students who did not pass math, English, science or social studies in the regular school year,” said Williams Smalley. “Participating in this program allowed them to obtain these credits.
“High school is credit-based, so they had to get credits in certain areas to graduate,” she added. “Our credit recovery was for students who may have failed a course in the previous school year. This program has helped students get back on track to graduate.
Professor Palumbo Ronald Paulus taught English II and theater during the summer. Paulus said his two courses were for students who needed credits in English II or the arts and humanities.
“In my English class we explored literature through the idea of community,” said Paulus. “The final project was a quilt that represented the communities reflected in their school community.
“In the drama, we focused on one-act plays,” Paulus said. “They learned projection and fiction. Through the plays, students examined two critical lenses, notably the feminist lens and the visual inequality.
“We also looked at two critical themes which were race and gender in everything we read,” he added. “The final project of my drama class was the class writing a play together.”
Sheriff Jallow, who will be a freshman at the Philadelphia Military Academy, praised the teachers during the summer apprenticeship program.
“The teachers I had during the summer apprenticeship were amazing; they really made learning fun, ”Jallow said. “They worked with us and encouraged us to do better. I learned a lot in this short period. “
Senior Palumbo Ashley Pagan-Afanador, attended Paulus’ English II class. She said that although her experience in the program was good, she looks forward to the next school year.
“I am so excited to learn again in the classroom with other people,” said Pagan-Afanador.
“I can’t wait to see my friends and talk to my teachers and administrators,” she added. “I’m really excited about my last year. “