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Mayor Wu announced a heat emergency in the City of Boston through Wednesday, July 17. Cooling centers will be open at 14 BCYF community centers Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mayor Wu and School Leaders Unveil “5th Quarter” Summer Programs For Thousands of Boston Children

A projected 18,000 Boston students will attend 239 summer programs, located in every neighborhood of the city, Mayor Michelle Michelle Wu and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper announced with Boston After School & Beyond. A total of $4.2 million in city, state, and private funds will support nonprofits providing enrichment that complements academic learning throughout the city.   

“The Fifth Quarter summer learning program allows Boston’s young people to take advantage of the best our city has to offer and provides them with enriching educational experiences during the summer months,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “By engaging in a variety of activities, our students can continue their learning journey, ensuring they are well-prepared for future success. Our thanks go to Boston After School & Beyond and our dedicated partners for their unwavering support in keeping our students motivated and involved throughout the year.”

Research shows that effective use of the summer months can be a key strategy for accelerating learning, particularly for low-income youth. Boston’s 5th Quarter of Learning, a partnership of the Boston Public Schools and nonprofit Boston After School & Beyond, has been at the forefront of national efforts to supplement school year learning, including a national study by RAND that showed high attending students outperform their peers in academics and key skills. 

“The 5th Quarter of Learning is a testament to our commitment to ensuring that all of our students have access to high-quality educational opportunities year-round,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper. “By engaging students in innovative and enriching programs over the summer, we are helping them to develop critical skills, stay academically on track, and foster a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom and, of course, have fun.”

“Our young people are the future of our Commonwealth and we must offer them the educational and social-emotional support they need to learn, play, and thrive during the school year and summer months," said Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler. "The 5th Quarter of Learning provides a critical bridge between grade levels and encourages students to pursue their passions while building on the skills learned during the school year. I am excited to see all of the academic and enrichment programs available for children and families this summer.”

In response to youth surveys expressing mental health needs, program leaders will focus on supporting resilience, wellness, and mental health. These programs foster important life skills, such as perseverance, teamwork, and communication, which are predictive of success in college and career.  

“The 5th Quarter of Learning encourages students to build on the skills learned during the school year and become more engaged, curious, and confident,” said Chris Smith, Executive Director of Boston After School & Beyond.  “We’re grateful to the City of Boston for their continued partnership as we work to make the city a classroom for all youth.”

"As a parent, I have seen firsthand the tremendous benefits of the ACEDONE 5th Quarter summer program. Three of my children participated, and the impact on their education, social engagement, and problem-solving skills has been remarkable. The program also significantly contributed to their mental growth and well-being. I am grateful for the opportunities ACEDONE has provided to my children, helping them make meaningful progress over the summer," said Abdullahi M. Hussein.  

Under the 5th Quarter of Learning effort, Boston After School & Beyond will disseminate a total of $4.2 million to 94 nonprofit organizations running academic or enrichment programs, or both. Included in this approach is $3 million in funding from the Boston Public Schools to 67 community-based programs operating five days a week over five weeks. Teachers begin the day with instruction in math and English language arts, with the remainder of the day featuring engaging enrichment, ranging from sailing to mixed martial arts to Mariachi. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provided $940,000 for Boston After School & Beyond to 57 enrichment programs. 

All programs participating in the 5th Quarter of Learning will adopt a common set of performance measures, tracked by Boston After School & Beyond.

As young people continue to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 and a mental health crisis, these programs provide critical intervention for youth facing adversity, and help them to improve across all metrics, all while having fun. Boston After School & Beyond and PEAR, has certified its first cohort of 25 program leaders in developmental resilience, equipping them with the skills to help youth adversity into resilience through participation in programs. 

The 5th Quarter of Learning is a resource open to Boston students, kindergarten to grade 12, at no cost. For more information and to find a program, visit

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