“Summer Boost” will serve rising first through ninth grade public charter students in eight U.S. cities – including Birmingham -- this summer

NEW YORK, NY and BIRMINGHAM, AL – February 24, 2023 Bloomberg Philanthropies and New Schools for Alabama today announced the launch of Summer Boost in Birmingham in the summer of 2023. Summer Boost is a program to support summer learning at public charter schools for rising first through ninth-grade students who have significant learning gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. All public charter schools in Birmingham currently serving rising first through ninth grade students can apply for Summer Boost which will allow them to create and run programs with a high-quality curriculum attentive to improving reading levels and math fluency.


Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Summer Boost in the summer of 2022 in New York City and 16,383 students from 224 New York City public charter schools participated in the program. Pre- and post-assessments show increased student proficiency in both English Language Arts and math. The percentage of students who met standards in math nearly doubled – and in English, it more than doubled. At the same time, the share of students scoring below even the most basic levels of proficiency dropped nearly in half. By the end of the summer session, far more students had caught up to roughly where they needed to be to start the new school year and get back on track for success.

In the summer of 2023, based on the program’s 2022 success in NYC, Summer Boost will again be run in New York City and will expand to Birmingham plus Baltimore, MD; Indianapolis, IN; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; San Antonio, TX; and Washington D.C.

“Students across America continue to suffer from extreme levels of learning loss caused by the pandemic, and the best opportunity we have to help them catch up is during the summer months," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. "Robust summer instruction helped thousands of New York City children get back on track last year, so this year we're expanding the program to seven more cities including Birmingham -- and we hope other cities and districts will expand their own programs. The country won't be able to put the pandemic behind us until we put learning loss front and center."

“We know how important the summer months are, especially for academically struggling students and students in poverty. Without the proper supports and the necessary resources, students only fall further behind during the summer months when school is out. That is why we are so excited about the opportunity to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies to bring Summer Boost to Birmingham and provide free, high-quality summer school options for our students in charter schools. This should be a major complement to the ongoing work in charter schools throughout the region to recover learning loss and give students the chance to succeed.” - Tyler Barnett, Chief Executive Officer, New Schools for Alabama

The pandemic compounded the ongoing education crisis in the U.S., resulting in significant learning loss, particularly for many low-income students of color. Research indicates that at the end of the 2020-21 school year, K-12 students across the country were an average of four months behind in language arts instruction and five months behind in math instruction. Yet, fewer large districts offered summer programs last year than they did in 2021, despite the need and an influx of federal funding. Summer Boost was established to address these challenges head-on and provide additional learning to rising first through ninth-grade students to ensure they can catch up and pursue future higher education, employment, and wage-earning opportunities.

In Birmingham, New Schools for Alabama is partnering with Bloomberg Philanthropies to ensure local public charter schools are able to bring this opportunity to their students. Charter school leaders are eager to offer high-quality summer academic and enrichment programs but need private sector and philanthropic support to make it possible.

All of Birmingham’s charter schools serving rising first through ninth graders in fall 2023 are eligible to apply for funding through Summer Boost to help their students who are most in need of assistance. Each school will commit to measuring outcomes and ensuring consistent student attendance. Public charter schools should apply by March 22 and all schools granted funding will be notified by April 14. More information can be found at

About Bloomberg Philanthropies 

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and LinkedIn

About New Schools for Alabama

New Schools for Alabama is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, public charity organization created to serve kids in Alabama. The organization supports the growth of excellent public charter schools in Alabama to ensure that every child has access to a quality public education. Additionally, New Schools for Alabama recruits high-caliber leaders to establish new schools in underserved communities and fosters a policy environment that supports the growth of excellent charter schools in high-need areas throughout the state. For more information go to


Media Contact:

Candie A. Mitchell-Price, MACE, MPR

Chief Communications Officer

Email address: [email protected]

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