For Immediate Release:
August 19, 2021
Marshfield Receives $113,700 in Summer Step Up Funding to Support Young Learners Entering School This Fall
[Marshfield] - Marshfield Public Schools (MPS) and local community partner The Boys & Girls Club of Marshfield joined forces with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to expand and enhance summer programs for young learners. Marshfield received $113,700 in Summer Step Up funds to give extra support to young learners entering school in the fall.
The Baker-Polito Administration previously announced that more than $7 million in funding will be spread across 30 school districts and 84 non-profit organizations in the Commonwealth, including Marshfield.
“We were pleased to provide schools and community partners opportunities and funding to make these important activities happen this summer for students in all grades, at no cost to their families,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
Summer Step Up is a new program launched by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) designed to accelerate learning during critical summer months for young children who have had limited access to in-school experiences due to COVID-19. More than 2,000 young children entering pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade will benefit from these expanded summer learning opportunities across the state. Summer Step Up programs engage young learners and smooth the transition to in-person learning to give young children a strong foundation in the early grades.
“Research continues to show that a strong foundation entering school sets students up for long-term academic success,” said Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. “Our new Summer Step-Up program is already making an impact, supporting school districts, in collaboration with community partners and national experts, to maximize the critical summer months to provide young children with in-person learning experiences that will ensure they are prepared for school in the fall.”
Over the course of 10 weeks, Marshfield Public Schools worked in collaboration with Boys & Girls Club of Marshfield on this effort. Funds supported 40 students at Boys & Girls of Marshfield’s summer camp. Students had the opportunity to participate in a combination of traditional camp activities including sports, team building, arts, nature exploration, and swimming along with STEM/STEAM activities.
"Thanks to the United Way, we were able to offer elementary students the opportunity to get a head start for the fall,” said Dr. Ellen Martin, Assistant Superintendent at Marshfield Public Schools. “Not only did our teachers focus on literacy and mathematics, but they were able to help students prepare both socially and emotionally for the return to school. In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, we were also able to offer transportation and the opportunity to participate in their summer camp programs. Each student and teacher had a smile on their face and an extra skip in their step as they participated, and we are certain this program will help our students when September rolls around."
Participating Marshfield youth also had the opportunity to participate in a social emotional learning program called Positive Action. This program upholds the philosophy that “we feel good when we do positive actions and there is a positive way to do everything.” In addition to student activities, funds supported professional development of staff and transportation of students.
“The Summer Step Up program and the funding provided us, allowed us to partner with the Marshfield Public Schools and open all our amazing camp programs to the kids and families who need and rely on us the most,” said Jim Bunnell, CEO of the Marshfield Boys and Girls Club. “Youth development combined with education gave these kids an enormous head start socially to another challenging school year without any financial burden to their families.”
The Summer Step Up Program partnered with seven educational and technical assistance organizations to provide unique content, curriculum, materials and practices to ensure high quality summer learning experiences for young learners. This assisted pre-k-2nd grade educators and community partners in their ability to support children during the summer and into the new school year, while meeting the goals of the Summer Step Up Program. These partners included the Boston Children’s Museum, Erikson Institute, JASON Learning, Museum of Science, Project Adventure, Education Development Center, and Collaborative for Educational Services.
The Baker-Polito Administration committed more than $70 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Response (ESSER) discretionary funds for school districts and community-based organizations to offer summer learning and recreational programs to help students grow academically and socially after a school year disrupted by COVID-19. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is working with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to administer $10 million of these funds in grants for Summer Step Up programs through the fall. United Way of Greater Plymouth County is partnering in this effort to provide on-the-ground support with community engagement, partnership development, and project coordination.
“We have yet to understand the full, long-term impact of COVID-19 on young people’s social-emotional and academic development,” said Bob Giannino, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “The immediate effects of disrupted learning are already evident, and United Way is proud to foster coordinated, meaningful partnerships between school districts and community-based organizations to support transitions to in-person learning for our youngest students.”
According to Dennis P. Carman, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Plymouth County, “The best way for us to help our students rebound from the negative impacts on learning of this awful pandemic is for our community to work together to design, coordinate and implement effective educational opportunities for them.”
About United Way of Greater Plymouth County
Established in 1922, United Way of Greater Plymouth County’s mission is “We unite people, ideas and resources to improve the lives of people in Greater Plymouth County.” Our efforts are instrumental in making Greater Plymouth County a safe, healthy, and well-educated community in which people's needs are met effectively, respectfully, and compassionately by focusing our resources on addressing the vital and interconnected needs of education, health, and income. United Way serves the communities of southeastern Massachusetts, including the city of Brockton and the towns of Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, West Bridgewater, and Whitman.