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State, federal funding will keep Massachusetts students learning, active this summer | National News

(The Center Square) – Providing learning and fitness activities for youth throughout the summer is the focus of a new investment, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The governor announced that a combined state and federal investment of $ 60 million will help schools and youth-focused organizations provide opportunities to help students grow this summer.

“Students across the commonwealth were significantly impacted by the disruption to their learning and their social and emotional well-being caused by COVID-19, and it is imperative that we continue to provide the resources and support they need to thrive,” Baker said in a release. “We are pleased to be able to again provide this funding, and we are grateful to the community and educational partners statewide who will take advantage of these opportunities and greatly benefit the commonwealth’s children.”

According to the release, there will be chances for students in every grade to participate in a host of academic and enrichment classes that will be offered at schools, including after-school and early education programs and various recreational sites.

The program saw 46,000 participants last summer in the program. Students, according to the release, will have opportunities to participate in Acceleration Academies, Summer Learning Partnerships, Summer Step Up, and Summer Acceleration to College.

National research, according to the release, showed a loss of learning occurred for many students due to schools opting to practice remote and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, once schools opened, research shows that students were five months behind in mathematics learning and four months behind in reading by the end of the last school year.

Statewide testing in Massachusetts shows that more students faced learning gaps in math and English language courses that compared to students in corresponding grade before the pandemic took hold.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will use $ 20 million in funding for Accelerated Education to help students learn and build skills by focusing on one project. The department will use another $ 8 million to administered programs that help students engage in enrichment and recreational activities in order to build relationships.

The Summer Step Up program, administered by the Department of Early Education and Care, will use $ 8 million to give more support to younger children who will enter school in the fall.

The state awarded $ 500,000 to 15 community colleges for the Summer Acceleration to College program, which gives recent high school graduates a chance to take match and English courses at no cost.

According to the release, an additional $ 2 million will be spent for enrichment at summer community camps, and another $ 2 million will fund early literacy tutoring.

The state will use $ 6 million for a new K-8 Math Acceleration program. The Biggest Winner Math program will also be offered with a $ 2.5 million allocation.

A survey conducted by MassINC showed 22% of parents feel their children are behind a grade level following the pandemic, while just 13% expressed the same concern before the pandemic.

“When we launched summer programming last year, we knew it would be a multi-year effort to help many students regain ground both academically and socially,” Education Secretary James Peyser said in the release. “We are committed to continuing this work by partnering with communities to engage young people in innovative and productive ways.”

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