During the summer of 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education' s (DESE) 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Programs funded four summer learning pilot programs with a special emphasis on utilization of project-based learning (PBL) approaches, outreach to diverse learners, and a blended academic and enrichment learning approach. In North Adams, Salisbury (Triton Regional School District), Springfield, and Wareham, existing 21st CCLC summer program sites were funded for expansion in size and number of hours offered.
These four selected pilot sites were fully enrolled and served high proportions of low-income low-performing students. Programs coalesced around a variety of themes, but generally all focused on stemming summer learning loss, reinforcing the academic skills learned during the school year, and helping prepare students to succeed in the upcoming school year in the context of a blended academic and enrichment learning experience. An evaluation was conducted by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College.
Evaluation data were collected through: (a) program observations; (b) interviews with site directors, academic, and enrichment teachers; (c) review of child level assessment data collected by the school and site directors; and (d) post-interviews with parents and academic teachers.