Connecting Kids to Summer Learning

Kindergarteners Aariona Phillips and Elijah Williams learn about rhyming at Camp Milliones at Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12 in the Hill District. Pittsburgh Public Schools partners with the Summer16 program to ensure all students have access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. Photo By: Ja’Quaun Robinson

Most kids think of summer as a time to kick back and relax, but parents know it’s important to keep kids active, engaged and learning even when they’re out of the classroom. For many parents, though, the idea of filling three months with fun and educational activities can be daunting.
That’s where Summer16 comes in. Started last year through Mayor William Peduto’s office as a joint effort between the city, the county, United Way, Allies for Children and a number of other community partners, the website offers a comprehensive list of engaging summer programs for K-12 students. By publicizing the many opportunities throughout the Pittsburgh region, Summer16 hopes to get more students involved throughout the year.

On the site, parents and caregivers can search for a wide range of programs based on where they live and the age and interests of their children. The site also features an events calendar packed with activities and programs for the summer months and beyond like running camps, open mic nights for kids, Learn & Earn, a program that connects students with summer job opportunities, and Summer Dreamers, a Pittsburgh Public Schools program that focuses on reading and math skills to prevent summer learning loss.

“Not all have to be in structured programs,” said LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill, the Deputy Chief of Education in the Office of Mayor Peduto. “Even if they’re reading at the library, going to events at the park, we want to know all kids are involved in quality summer programs.”

​Sherrill said Summer16 was started as a way to show kids and caregivers all of the opportunities available to them and to create “sustainable connections to programs that already exist in their neighborhood.” 

“How do we as a region say we want as many kids as possible to participate in summer activities to reduce learning loss and stay connected and safe and learning over the summer?” said Sherrill. 

​Summer16 works with several partners including Remake Learning, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Citiparks and The Sprout Fund.

“Pittsburgh is doing a lot of stuff,” said Sherrill. “This is very important to all of us. Let’s get the word out.”

To learn about activities and events in your area, visit 


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