Through Summer Design Studio (SDS), our seven-week summer enrichment program, we teach at-risk teens literacy and math through the scaffold of product design. We hold our design and S.A.T. preparation classes at Pratt Institute on the Brooklyn campus, so our students can experience the reality of college. Summer Design Studio also offers disadvantaged youth crucial employment and work experience: every afternoon, students are involved in painting under-resourced but vital neighborhood facilities.
Research shows that low-income students who don’t have access to organized activities lose about two months of grade equivalency over the summer. This sad reality deepens the achievement gap and puts underserved students at greater risk of dropping out. Our goal is for all of our SDS students to return to school in the fall ahead of where they were upon departing for the summer.