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2013 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

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. For more details, see 2013 Summer School Information.

  • Summer Quest

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 11 schools in the South Bronx. For more details, see NYC Summer Quest or view the Summer Quest video.

  • 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, 2013 enrollment is now closed. Click here to join the SAI mailing list to receive a 2014 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.

  • 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

Join the Summer Reading 2013 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.