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2014 Summer Opportunities for Students

Summertime provides a great opportunity for students to extend their learning throughout the year. In fact, research has shown that students who take part in summer programs do better in school than their peers who do not ( RAND 2011 ). New York City offers a number of programs to keep students learning, engaged and healthy during the summer months. Browse the options below to find out more about summer learning and to find the right opportunity for your student. 

Please note, this list is meant to be an overview of key programs and is not exhaustive of all opportunities offered by New York City. Eligibility and enrollment criteria vary for each program. Please consult each provider directly to learn if your student qualifies for a specific program or opportunity.

Summer Learning Tips:

National Summer Learning Association provides a number of helpful resources on summer learning:

  • Learn why summer learning is important here.
  • Find out what parents can do to keep their kids sharp over the summer here.
  • Discover more ideas and tips on learning and physical activities here.

Summer Meals:

The annual summer meals program will provide free breakfast and lunch to youngsters 18 and younger, regardless of New York City residency. The meals will be available at roughly 1,000 locations, including pools, schools, libraries, parks, public housing sites, and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs. To find information on when and how to access these meals in each borough, visit the Department of Education’s Summer Meals Website.

Programs and Activities:

Summer school provides students with additional instructional support to ensure that they achieve proficiency in New York State Learning Standards and New York City Performance Standards in order to move on to the next grade level. Summer school is encouraged for students in grades 3-12 who have not yet met the promotion standards to move on to the next grade level. 

NYC Summer Quest, led by the Department of Education, the Department of Youth and Community Development and The Fund for Public Schools, combines hands-on, Common Core-aligned academic enrichment with the fun of summer camp. This year, the free, five-week summer program for elementary and middle schools students will take place at 15 schools in the South Bronx and 7 schools in Brooklyn. For more details, see NYC Summer Quest or view the Summer Quest video.  Share flyers: Bronx English |Bronx Spanish| Brooklyn English| Brooklyn Spanish.    

Options include 1 week and multi-week camps, high school internships and a 5-week college credit bearing course. For detailed program descriptions and to register, visit STEM Matters NYC.

NYC Parks – Free Outdoor Pools
Welcome summer by visiting one of New York City's free outdoor pools! Starting June 27 through September 1, NYC Parks’ outdoor pools will offer many amenities including free summer swim programs for all ages and abilities and free, healthy summer meals provided by USDA through SchoolFood, a part of the NYC Department of Education for all children 18 years old and under. Help us spread the word by downloading a flyer to promote the local pool in your school district here:  http://tinyurl.com/pool-flyers. For more information, visit nyc.gov/parks.
Big Apple Games: July 8 – August 1
Big Apple Games for high school and middle school students, sponsored by the Public Schools Athletic League, are held indoors, from Monday, July 8 through Thursday, August 1. For high school students, games run Monday-Thursday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Afternoon & Evening Teen Recreational Centers will host wrestling, volleyball, basketball, softball, floor hockey, team handball, gymnastics, ultimate Frisbee, arts and crafts, and swimming lessons.
The Junior High School Program for students in fourth to eighth grades is open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays, and offers a variety of activities including arts and crafts, game room fun and sports. All sites are staffed with licensed teachers and school safety officers. Contact 
Laustin@schools.nyc.gov for more information. Registration is ongoing at the website on a daily basis. Site also shows full schedule and list of locations.
Summer Play Street Activities: July 9 – August 23
Free summer adult-supervised games and activities for all youths on will be held at designated streets, schools and playgrounds. Weekdays only. Goal of program includes reducing risk-taking behaviors among youth and fostering life skills. Older youths play stickball, volleyball, basketball, skully, and double Dutch, among others, while younger kids have jump rope, hopscotch and relay races. Also chess, checkers, mancala (a board strategy game) for some mental exercise To find a Play Street near you, click 
here, or call the Police Athletic League at 212-477-9450 ext. 389.

  • Summer Arts Institute

The Summer Arts Institute (SAI) is a tuition-free, intensive arts program for New York City public school students entering grades 8-12, held at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in Astoria, Queens. Students can major in dance, theater, instrumental music (band), vocal music, film, photography or visual arts. The program is designed for students at an intermediate or advanced level of study in their chosen discipline. For more information, visit the 2013 SAI webpage. [Please note, 2014 enrollment is now closed. Click here to join the SAI mailing list to receive a 2015 application as soon as it is available.]

Other Summer Opportunities:

  • NYC Department of Youth and Community Development

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) supports programs for students throughout the summer. Learn about activity, academic and employment based programs such as the Beacon Program, Cornerstone, Out-Of-School Time Initiative, the Summer Youth Employment Program, and more on the DYCD website. Find programs in your area by visiting the DYCD programs page.  View NYC Youth Guide to Summer Fun for more information on summer activties and events throughout the city.

  • NYC Parks & Recreation Department

Visit the Public Programs page to learn more about Summer Day Camps, Kids in Motion, Imagination Playgrounds and Mobile Recreation. Information about year-round Parks Department programs is also available on this page.

  • NYC Department of Health

Visit their website to find summer camps in each borough that received permits from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene last summer.

  • NYC Housing Authority

NYCHA’s recreation programs encourage young people to get outdoors, have fun and get fit. Its Community Centers offer summer day camp programs, and selected centers operate evening programs for teens. Visit NYCHA’s Recreation Programs page to learn more.

  • Public Libraries

Coming Soon! Join the Summer Reading 2014 program to log books, win badges, create avatars and more. Learn more about Summer Programs and Reading Lists at the New York Public Library Kids! website and the Resources for Teens page. Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library also hold events for kids throughout the summer.

  • Free Events in NYC

NYCgo.com offers great information on free activities for kids, as well as NYC museums that are always free on certain days of the week.