May 15, 2014
City News Service
Young people will be able to learn and gain skills this summer while they explore the city of Los Angeles under a newly launched program, Mayor Eric Garcetti said recently. The mayor joined educators to announce the Los Angeles Summer of Learning program, which will take advantage of the city’s parks, libraries, schools, museums and cultural resources. The program “will transform Los Angeles into a 500-square-mile campus and provide learning opportunities for our youth when school is not in session,” Garcetti said.
Students will be connected to “creative, interactive and interest- driven learning opportunities,” and be exposed to skills that will “prepare to enter the workforce,” he said.
“Learning happens everywhere, not only in the classroom,” said John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Deasy said the program will help close an “achievement gap between lower- and high-income youth,” which is partly caused by “unequal access to summer learning opportunities.”
Youths aged 3 to 24 will be able to take part in 100 in-person and online activities that include building robots, writing poetry, programming, cooking, dancing and swimming. Cultural institutions involved in the program include the Getty Center and, farther afield, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Once activities are completed, participants earn badges and be encouraged to “level-up” by exploring a particular area of interest more deeply.
Sign-ups for the program begin May 20 at http://summeroflearning.la. The MacArthur Foundation launched a similar program in Chicago last year and is designing the Los Angeles program, website and digital badges, Garcetti’s aides said. Los Angeles’ Summer of Learning program is funded by various private donations, including $500,000 from JPMorgan Chase and $200,000 from the California Endowment, according to the mayor’s office.