Summer Rising program helps kids who fell behind during pandemic

Enrollment for New York City's Summer Rising program just opened. Schools Chancellor David Banks is encouraging students who need it to sign up for extra help this summer.  

"It could be a long, hot summer," Banks said. "The more that we're able to keep our kids engaged and reduce the amount of idle time that they have, the better that will be for all of us." 

The New York City Department of Education's Summer Rising program offers summer school in July and August for children in kindergarten through 8th grade. The program is designed to help kids who fell behind during the pandemic. It was so successful last year the program has now been expanded to include more students

"It's going to be an opportunity for our kids to play catchup academically — there'll be a lot of rigorous work that will be there, but it's going to be fun and engaging. And there's also going to be a lot of experiences that we're providing working with community-based organizations that are going to take our kids outside the four walls of school," Banks said. "They're going to have a chance to move all around New York City, go to cultural institutions and museums and parks and everything else, and really make the city their classroom." 

Remote learning took a toll on many New York City public school students. Leo, 8, is just happy to be back to in-person learning. Leo told me learning remotely was really hard. 

"That's why I'm really glad we are finally back at school — no masks," Leo said.

The city also has a summer jobs program for high school students. City Council Member Julie Menin said helping students find summer jobs has the added benefit of reducing the city's labor shortage.

"Summer youth employment is incredibly important and it's also a win-win. It's a win for small businesses but it's also a win, as well, too, for these young people because they want to create this pipeline of economic opportunity," Menin said. "It's giving them skill sets, it's giving them vocational training. It's incredibly important."