National Summer Learning Week 2023

In July 2023, DCYF’s grantees and Summer Together partners participated in National Summer Learning Week, celebrating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy during the summer, and ensuring they return to school ready to succeed. Our grantees and partners hosted more than 65 Summer Learning Week events in every district in San Francisco, serving thousands of children in grades K-8. In 2023, National Summer Learning Week is focused on five unique themes: Love of Literacy & Learning, Wonders of Wellness, Health & Sports, Community & Leadership, Amazing Arts, and STEM. Highlights from San Francisco’s Summer Learning Week events are included below.

We would like to thank each and every agency, staff member, and student in San Francisco who participated in National Summer Learning Week. Together, we are making San Francisco a great place to grow up!


Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco celebrated Summer Learning Week in so many fun ways! The Tenderloin Clubhouse summer campers made their way to the SF Main Library for an art creation workshop on Monday, and finished out the week at CreatorCon, a STEM-focused block party in the Tenderloin that featured hands-on STEM and arts and crafts booths for kids. On Wednesday, every Boys & Girls Clubhouse in San Francisco got together to take part in the first ever citywide BGCSF Spelling Bee, which featured individual and team competitors – check out the photo of the proud winner with her trophy. And to top it off, several BGCSF Clubhouses got ready to watch the US Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup for the third time in a row! They watched a documentary about the Women’s World Cup, made their own soccer balls, created their own countries – flags and all! – to compete in their own World Cup, had a foosball tournament, and played soccer on the SF City Hall lawn.  

San Francisco Public Library

The San Francisco Public Library celebrated summer learning during Summer Learning Week - and throughout the summer - with events hosted through their annual Summer Stride program. Summer Stride provides learning, reading, and exploration for San Franciscans of all ages and abilities. Summer Stride features author talks and book giveaways; STEM events and workshops; mindful experiences in nature; workforce development opportunities for teens, and meaningful connections for all ages for our diverse community. Summer Stride runs through August 2023, and anyone can join in! Learn more here.  

YMCA Power Scholars Academy

Studies have shown over and over that without intervention in the form of a summer program, most students lose two months of learning over the summer – a shocking statstic. The YMCA of San Francisco’s Power Scholars Academy is a six-week summer program for first through eighth graders designed to address summer learning loss in math and reading, and to foster physical and social-emotional growth. On average, YMCA Power Scholars Academy students not only avoid summer learning loss - they experience a month’s worth of academic growth in both math and reading over the summer! To celebrate everything their students have achieved in order to be ready for school in the fall, the YMCA of San Francisco hosted their Power Scholars Academy graduation ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts, honoring students from nearly every YMCA branch in San Francisco. Power Scholars Academy is a perfect example of the YMCA’s overall goal: “a future in which all people achieve health, gain confidence, make connections, and feel secure at every stage of life.”

District 1

Mission Neighborhood Centers - Mission Girls

The Mission Neighborhood Centers’ Mission Girls program used their Summer Learning Week event to teach their students how ecosystems work, how we are all affected by each other’s actions, and the importance of keeping the environment clean and healthy. To do this, they braved the (typical!) cold San Francisco summer weather and headed out to Ocean Beach to pick up trash, check out sea life, and get in some time playing in the waves.

The Richmond Neighborhood Center

Love of Literacy and Learning is one of the national Summer Learning Week themes for 2023, and The Richmond Neighborhood Center ran with it! They brought their elementary and middle school campers together for a book club style event, reading and discussing books about identity: The Perfect Gift and The Square Root of Possible, both written by Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David E. Talbert, and The Way Champs Play by (new mom!) Naomi Osaka.


Youth SF crafted their Summer Learning Week with a sneaky yet effective goal: expose students to science concepts in a hands-on, fun manner, helping them learn, without realizing they are learning! How did they go about it? STEMLYMPICS! The Youth SF team created innovative, interactive activities featuring a range of sport challenges: basketball, baseball, disc golf, traditional golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and more, that were incorporated into STEM experiments that illustrated science concepts behind each sport challenge. An example from one of their many cool activities: after seeing how fast they can throw a baseball, students explored a display demonstrating how speed is measured using waves!

District 2

Breakthrough San Francisco

Every summer, Breakthrough operates a six-week academic program for students from across San Francisco. The summer program is part of each student’s eight-year involvement with Breakthrough, and a step on their journey to college. Breakthrough’s programs also serve as a training ground for aspiring educators from across the country. For Summer Learning Week, Breakthrough hosted a Visitors' Day, which was an inspiring opportunity for the community to come in and see their program in action!

Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center - Galileo Academy of Science & Technology Beacon

Summer Learning Week was filled with fun activities at TelHi’s Futurama summer program at Galileo High School! Over the summer, students learned about acting, digital media, mural painting, and project planning. Their Summer Showcase took place in the Galileo Academy auditorium, which was painted by students. The paintings focused on the themes of San Francisco and nature. Students also performed a hilarious improv set and went on field trips to a bowling alley, ice skating rink, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

District 3

Cameron House

Dragons! Martial Arts! Tie-dye lessons! Did we mention dragons?!? The lucky campers at Cameron House got to do all of this and more during their Summer Learning Week celebrations, and throughout the summer. Cameron House has been serving the San Francisco community since 1874: that’s 149 years of empowering the San Francisco Chinese community to build strength and resilience through family-centered programs. We can’t wait to see how they are going to celebrate their 150th(!) anniversary of supporting a safe and healthy community where people learn, heal, and thrive!

Community Youth Center - Redding Elementary School Beacon

Community Youth Center's Redding Elementary School Beacon chose to highlight the Summer Learning Week theme "Community and Leadership" by having students participate in a Summer Showcase to celebrate diversity and culture! They performed meaningful songs about protesting and taking action, shared a slideshow presentation highlighting student projects during the summer, held youth-led and youth-made carnival games, and enjoyed a potluck organized by their families!

Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center - Francisco Middle School Beacon

Summer Learning Week was Fast and Furious at TelHi’s Francisco Middle School Beacon! Students hosted Cardboard Madness, a competition that pulled together teams of students to design and build cars and launching ramps out of cardboard. They then faced off to find out who is the Lewis Hamilton of TelHi!

District 4

Bay Area Community Resources - AP Giannini Middle School

The BACR summer program at AP Giannini Middle School hosted a carnival for Summer Learning Week that featured a rock climbing wall, giant board games, basketball, giant connect four, and sports booth shootout. BACR’s student interns created a super fun video that showcased their Summer Learning week event and their entire summer program – check it out here!

Bay Area Community Resources - Ulloa Elementary School

The BACR summer program at Ulloa Elementary School celebrated Summer Learning Week with a field trip to Golden Gate Park, where they visited the Koret Children's Corner, took a spin on the beautiful carousel, and ate yummy healthy snacks. The Koret Children’s Corner, originally named the Sharon Quarters for Children when it opened in 1888, is thought to have been the nation’s first public playground! In that era, the idea of providing a dedicated space solely for youth recreation was groundbreaking. Thanks to the leadership of the SF Recreation & Parks Department, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to have every resident live within a 10-minute walk of a park or open space, with a total of 220(!) parks in the city limits!

District 5

Booker T. Washington Community Service Center

Literacy, literacy, literacy – that was the Summer Learning Week theme for Booker T this year. They started the week by pairing their Kindergarteners and 1st graders with elders in their Victory Club for Aging and Older Adults, and the new buddies read their favorite books together. Later in the week, Booker T summer campers took field trips to the Western Addition Library and the Presidio Library, checked out books, and read them together in the Booker T courtyard. To round out the week, Booker T’s 6th-8th graders, and some of the youth in their high school program, went on a guided visit of Stanford University!

Collective Impact & Mo’MAGIC

Collective Impact/Mo’MAGIC always goes all out for Summer Learning Week, and they bring the entire community along! They invited their neighbor organizations – Buchanan YMCA, The Village Project, and Up On Top - to the African American Art and Culture Complex for their Summer Learning Week event: Read, Explore and Learn in San Francisco. They hosted Author Series breakout sessions featuring author Sheryl Evans Davis and her book Free to Sing, participated in interactive read aloud, and received the book to add to their home libraries. Youth also had the opportunity to participate in a writers workshop with Hey Carter!, a children's boutique created for Black children, that creates and uses books, products, apparel, and events as tools to help Black children thrive and grow. Students also participated in arts and crafts activities and hands-on STEAM activities.

GLIDE Family, Youth and Childcare Center

The GLIDE Family, Youth and Childcare Center celebrated "Amazing Arts" and "Community and Leadership" for Summer Learning Week with visits to various murals in San Francisco! Students learned about the artists who created murals in the Mission, Pier 39, and in the Tenderloin and the different methods, artistic styles, and meanings behind them. Drawing inspiration from their San Francisco murals tour, students then designed and painted their own mural in GLIDE's basement classroom with the guidance of the Creative Arts Instructor and Lead Teacher.

Hamilton Families

Part of what makes San Francisco a great place to grow up, is the pride and love San Franciscans give to its communities! Summer Learning Week for Hamilton Families' youth meant showcasing their outpouring of love for community through art, writing, and food! Youth exercised their creativity by decorating hats and mixed-media painting, creating beautiful bouquets, writing thoughtful letters of appreciation, and by cooking a meal and tres leches cake for community members.

Indochinese Housing Development Corporation

In celebration of their recently completed backyard remodeling project, IHDC hosted an Art and Garden Jam for Summer Learning Week. The event brought together students and their families to visit the yard and help paint a welcome mural. The Art and Garden Jam honored IHDC’s values of community, growth, and caring, and encouraged participants to take ownership of the beautiful, new space.

San Francisco High School of the Arts

For Summer Learning Week, Summer Together partner SF High School of the Arts summer camp students participated in an on-campus Performing Arts Showcase and Art Exhibit for their family and friends. For some campers – particularly those who were placed through the Summer Together Initiative – the SF High School of the Arts summer camp was their first exposure to dance, theater, and formal pencil and painting techniques! Among the highlights of the showcase were ballet dances, traditional Chinese dances featuring kung fu fans and lanterns, and solos and duets by the SF High School of the Arts year-round dance competition team. The campers’ art exhibit featured pencil drawings and paintings from the Visual Arts bootcamp, as well as various works by animation, filmmaking, and Young Artists camps.

Southeast Asian Development Center

SEADC’s MYEEP youth interns were the stars of their Summer Learning Week show! They lead field trips, taught engineering and design principles through fun, interactive projects, hosted a lemonade stand to teach business and math concepts, hosted arts and crafts activities, and hosted a wellness event that included yoga and stretching, mural painting, and trivia with healthy snacks as prizes!

The Salvation Army Kroc Center

During Summer Learning Week, and throughout the summer, The Salvation Army Kroc Center goes the extra mile to make summertime enriching, safe, and fun for their students. Students spend every morning practicing reading and writing, learning math, and exploring the sciences, and every afternoon they participate in hands-on workshops. Bonus: every Thursday and Friday they go on super cool field trips in San Francisco and all around the Bay Area!

District 6

Catholic Charities

“Habitats of the World” was the Summer Learning Week theme for the summer campers at Catholic Charities. Campers used magazines, computer clip art, markers, crayons, straws, yarn, blocks, and even homemade slime to create their favorite animal's habitat. Then, campers went on a field trip to the California Academy of Sciences, where they said hello to Claude, saw the World’s Largest Dinosaurs, and watched the adorable penguins!

Community Youth Center - Aptos Middle School

Community Youth Center’s summer program at the Aptos Middle School Beacon Center hosted a showcase of projects that their students have been working on throughout the summer. Students set up booths with visuals about their work, and gave presentations about their projects to each other. Projects ranged from artwork to STEAM projects to culinary experimentation in the CYC version of Top Chef!

Embarcadero YMCA

The Embarcadero YMCA and the Treasure Island Community YMCA hosted a Summer Learning Week STEAMstravaganza. This event incorporated all five Summer Learning Week themes, and had a little bit of everything: a robot design contest, a drop-the-egg engineering contest, arts and crafts kits, golf, archery lessons, carnival games, and bouncy castles!

Filipino Education Center - Galing Bata

Galing Bata’s main learning goal this summer is for their students to be engaged in Filipino culture, specifically to learn more about Filipino language, arts, music, dance, games, values, and history, while having fun in a safe space. They certainly did that and more during their Summer Learning Week event! They hosted a Filipino Indigenous Dance class and a Filipino Indigenous Music Class by Kultura Kapwa, their 1st-3rd graders participated in a Filipino Theater Class by American Conservatory Theater, and their SoMasarap Club, a Filipino Cooking Club for their 1st-3rd graders, made traditional Filipino food.

Treasure Island Sailing Center

For Summer Learning Week, Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) set up a special interactive and educational exhibit exploring how simple machines are used in sailing applications. The TISC Team used real sailing equipment to showcase levers, pulleys, wheels and axles, and more. And, of course, campers got out on the water to show off the sailing skills they have learned during the summer. This was the first time that many of the campers had the opportunity to sail in front of their families!

Mission Graduates - Bessie Carmichael Elementary School

The Mission Graduates Beacon Center at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School had a STEM and Love of Literacy & Learning filled Summer Learning Week! Students read books, conducted experiments, and went on field trips!

United Playaz & West Bay Pilipino Multiservice Center

At their Summer Learning Week event, United Playaz and West Bay Pilipino Multiservice Center recognized the recipients of the DayDay College Scholarship Fund. The DayDay College Scholarship Fund was created to support extraordinary high school seniors and current college students who overcame adversity to attend college, embody the mission and vision of United Playaz and West Bay, and are facing financial hardship in achieving their college dreams. The Scholarship Fund was named in honor of Day’von “DayDay” Hann, a United Playaz student, who had high hopes and dreams of attending college. DayDay fell victim to gun violence, and was tragically killed on July 8th, 2019. DayDay would have been a part of the high school graduating class of 2022. 

In addition to the scholarship ceremony, UP and West Bay showcased the work of their project-based learning unit on community violence and peacemakers. K-5 students wrote biographies about the lives of renowned peacemakers, and middle school students wrote letters about what they feel should be done to end senseless gun violence. These pieces were proudly displayed at UP and West Bay’s clubhouses. The event also celebrated the unveiling of a mural dedicated to peace in the community that all students and staff worked on together.

District 7

Stonestown YMCA

At the Stonestown YMCA, summer campers’ families and friends were invited to visit the camp during Summer Learning Week for their Welcome to the Space Jam event. Campers decided on a outer space theme for their event, and built out of this world dioramas, games, and other creations using LEGO bricks, cardboard, popsicle sticks, and anything else they could find in the supply closet. On the day of the event, the proud creators showed off their space ships, houses of the future, alien worlds, and other creations in a gallery walk.

District 8

Children’s After School Arts

Summer is Magic! A Celebration of Summer Learning at CASA was the culminating event of CASA's five weeks of summer programming. As students, families, and educators recover from the stressors and isolation of the pandemic, CASA has made space to celebrate the magic of being together and the healing powers of community engagement. The team at CASA's Summer of Magic Camp incorporated weekly themes that allowed kids to play, explore, learn, and work together on magic-themed projects. For their culminating Summer Learning Week event, campers and teachers worked together to make textiles which were used to transform the camp’s play structure into a giant fort. Campers then enjoyed a magic show from inside the special, magical, community space that they created themselves!

Edventure More

Throughout Summer Learning Week, the campers at EDMO participated in summer enrichment and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities. Then they let loose at the end of the week: they got all the campers together for a pep rally to vote on which of the events during the week was the students favorite. Students created posters, cheers, and dances in support of their favorite activity!

Mission Graduates - Beacon Center at Everett Middle School

What's your superpower?!? At the Mission Graduates Beacon Center at Everett Middle School, students explored the Summer Learning Week theme of Amazing Arts, learning the basics of drawing cartoons and superheroes. Maybe one of them will come up with the next DC or Marvel hero!

District 9

Bay Area Community Resources - Junipero Serra Elementary School

The team at Bay Area Community Resources brought together students from Junipero Serra Elementary School and Mission Education Center to make new friends and have a messy, science-y Summer Learning Week event: they made volcanos, they made slime, and they potted plants! They were supposed to have a water balloon extravaganza afterward, but Karl the Fog had other ideas, so out came the kickball!

Bay Area Community Resources - Paul Revere Elementary School

BACR’s summer program at Paul Revere Elementary celebrated Summer Learning Week in style, with a whole neighborhood of bounce castles, a taco truck, face painting, arts and crafts stations, and even a tractor ride!

Buena Vista Child Care

Buena Vista Child Care hosted a carnival for Summer Learning Week that put a new spin on a traditional carnival: all of the games and booths featured health and wellness games! Students created Affirmations in a Jar, made their own stress balls, played with musical instruments, created their own yoga pose sequences, and received goody bags full of healthy treats.