BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified is partnering with extended learning titan THINK Together to provide an enrichment program this summer for more than 700 elementary students hosted at five school sites.

The $314,000 program, approved March 8 by the Baldwin Park Unified Board of Education, restores a summer-learning program lost to Baldwin Park students during the deep cuts of the Great Recession.

The program is listed as a priority under the District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan, which outlines how the District will spend state funds to improve student success.

“Summer enrichment programs play a key role in ensuring students remain academically engaged during the summer months,” Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said. “I’m pleased that we can offer these options to help maintain and improve upon what they learn during the course of the regular school year.”

A RAND Corp. study found in 2011 that students’ math and English language skills and knowledge deteriorate by about a month during summer – with low-income children especially vulnerable to losing ground in reading. About 87 percent of Baldwin Park students are from low-income families.
Academic-based summer enrichment programs can reverse this trend.

THINK Together, a non-profit launched in 1994, is the largest provider of extended learning programs in California, including after-school programs and summer enrichment offerings. It serves more than 100,000 students at more than 40 school districts.

“A signature of THINK Together programs is project-based learning – which makes the day a fun time for students even as they are engaged academically,” Mendoza said.

Baldwin Park Unified’s program will span four weeks, running from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. It is open to all students who currently attend transitional kindergarten through fifth grade.
Students will rotate through three morning sections: standards-based learning delivered by credentialed teachers, a project-based enrichment activity and a healthy living activity. In the afternoon, students will participate in project-based enrichment activities that align with grade-level state content standards.

The program will be hosted at Bursch, Central, Elwin, Geddes and Kenmore elementary schools, but students who attend any Baldwin Park Unified elementary campus may enroll through their home school office. Busing will be provided from a student’s home school to one of the host sites.