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Free RCSD Summer Programs Offered Through City, Library Partnership

By Tyronda James
tyrondajames@minorityreporter.net

RCSD Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small. Photo by Tyronda James/Minority Reporter Media Group.

The Rochester City School District wants to continue student learning over the summer and bridge any gaps that happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small recently announced the 2021 summer learning opportunities and programs available to the community, a collaboration with the City of Rochester and the Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System.

The district will offer targeted summer school programming at 20 different locations, for students in grades Kindergarten through 12th. 

“Things are slowly but surely getting back to normal. And we’re looking forward to having that unfold as we get prepared for September. We’re looking forward to getting back to normal business, and I’ll end by saying learning, we have some unfinished business and we look forward to taking care of that this summer,” said Myers-Small.

“Many of us have been behind closed doors sequestered, and we’ve been working through our electronic devices. These partnerships, again, give us an opportunity to literally meet students where they are.”

Myers said locations are conveniently located across the city where they are also easily accessible to RCSD scholars and the community.

Dr. Danielle Lyman-Torres, Commissioner of the Department of Recreation and Human Services for the City of Rochester said the city has so much planned for its families, including the Food Truck Rodeos at the City of Rochester Public Market, workouts and dancing at the International Plaza and more

The community can also enjoy city recreation pools and spray parks. As well as activities brought by Rec On the Move, a mobile play team, they bring games and fun through pop-up play opportunities and grab and go meals to neighborhood parks throughout the city. They are also offering summer camps, youth development, field trips, sports, and education enrichment programs. 

Lyman-Torres said the city will also be offering ballet classes with famed New York City Ballet dancer and Rochester native Aesha Ash.

Recreation center programming is completely free and open to all city residents. Go to city of rochester.gov. for more information regarding programming.

There are a myriad of opportunities for students and families to attend throughout the city and Monroe County.

The RCSD is also offering a summer experiential learning program through its My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Program. The program launched under President Barack Obama in 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and men of color. The MBK summer experiential learning program will include over 190 students enrolled in grades 7 – 8. From July 6 – 30, students will demonstrate problem solving and leadership skills, develop social emotional learning skills, and apply them to leadership opportunities. 

Other learning opportunities will include coding, finance, digital music, podcasting, activism and civics in Rochester, art, eSports, sport major and much more..

The Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System are open and hosting daily pop-up activities all around. 

Myers said locations for the district, city, and library programming are conveniently located across the city where they should be easily accessible, especially for RCSD scholars to get to either by being dropped off, public transportation or walking. 

The RIT, RCSD partnership encourages students to enroll in free summer camps on RIT’s campus that covers everything from a college readiness boot camp, research foundations summer STEM experience, to digital storytelling.  

Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester will also be offering free, healthy meals to city students, 18 and under. For a full list of locations, visit www.summermealsroc.org.

“There are so many opportunities that are available. It’s just not a one size fits all opportunity,” said Myers-Small. “From what I understand, what the different programming, you have such amazing opportunities that you can either participate in something that you enjoy, or you can even expand your territory and try something new.”

She said the partnerships, connections and relationships being built is what it’s all about. “We are developing a common language and uniform language. So we can continue to reinforce positive affirmations and encouragement and just to get our students out and about and connect with them,” she said.

“It’s really about making sure that we let our young people know that we care. And this is a way that we can absolutely unequivocally do that.” 

For further information, visit www.rcsdk12.org/summer