Mayor Taveras Announces ‘Providence PROMISE’

Mayor Taveras Announces ‘Providence PROMISE’

Summer Learning Program with Brown, Johnson & Wales, Providence College and RISD

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joins Taveras to announce new summer learning initiative during fourth and final stop of the Mayors for Educational Excellence Tour

Providence, RI
— Mayor Angel Taveras today joined Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and representatives from Brown University, Providence College, Johnson & Wales University and the Rhode Island School of Design to announce a new program to provide Providence high school students with opportunities to learn on college campuses during the summer.

“Providence PROMISE: Providence Opportunities for Mentorship and Inspiration through Summer Education” is a coordinated effort led by Mayor Taveras to expand the portfolio of no-cost, high-quality summer learning experiences available to youth in Rhode Island’s capital city.

Research shows summer learning loss is a major contributing factor to poor educational outcomes, as low-income students lose more than two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills and reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains in both categories. Over the years, these disparities add up.  More than half of the ‘achievement gap’ between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

“Too many of our children lose ground academically when school lets out for the summer,” said Mayor Taveras. “We are focused on giving young people in Providence meaningful opportunities to learn during the summer, and we are grateful for having such exceptional partners in this effort as Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence College and Johnson & Wales University. I sincerely thank President Christina Paxson, Interim President Rosanne Somerson, President Rev. Brian Shanley and Chancellor John Bowen for their leadership and vision in participating in our effort to put young people in Providence on a path to higher education and lifelong achievement.”

Mayor Taveras was joined by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock for today’s announcement. Mayor Taveras and Mayor Hancock are participating in the Mayors for Educational Excellence Tour (MEET), a first-of-its-kind national education innovation program involving leaders from Denver, Sacramento, Providence and San Antonio.  Providence is the fourth and final stop on the tour.

“The Mayors for Educational Excellence Tour gives me and my fellow mayors an opportunity to learn from the many programs and policies taking place in each participating city. The "Providence PROMISE” initiative is a phenomenal example of the type of innovative thinking and community commitment needed to help children compete and succeed in the global economy,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.

Providence PROMISE
As part of the ‘Providence PROMISE’ program, each participating college and university will expand or create a new program to serve current Providence high school students:

•    Brown University will expand its Brown Summer High School program by 32 additional seats, the majority of which will be reserved, tuition free, for Providence high school students.  The Brown Summer High School is a daytime, four-week program that develops students’ reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills.

•    Providence College will offer a skill-building and college readiness program specifically designed for a limited number of rising high school seniors in Providence Public Schools.  The program is expected to be a daytime, multi-week course that includes both academic and co-curricular activities. PC will offer ten scholarships to cover tuition and books for this program.

•    Johnson & Wales University will donate ten scholarships to Providence high school students for the Hospitality Career Explorations Program and an additional ten scholarships to for the Culinary Arts Career Explorations program.  The Career Explorations programs at Johnson & Wales are designed to help high school students gain real-life experience in their prospective fields.

•    The Rhode Island School of Design and the RISD Museum will enroll eligible Providence Public high school students in the Museum's successful Summer Youth Intensive. The Summer Youth Intensive is a free, two-week program that immerses high school students in creative practice. Students will meet and work with curators, artists, art historians and others.

"Brown University is pleased to partner with the private colleges in Providence to increase opportunities to provide learning and enrichment for under-served students in our city," said Brown University President Christina Paxson. "Many thanks to the Mayor for underscoring the significant challenge posed by summer learning loss. We look forward to augmenting our contributions in this area by expanding our Brown Summer High School program."

“Mayor Taveras first spoke to me about his idea for this initiative a year ago at one of our community outreach events,” said Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P.  “We are pleased to see it come to fruition, and to join our sister institutions in offering this opportunity to Providence high school students.  The two courses we plan to offer were chosen carefully.  Writing plays an important role in the curriculum at Providence College, and we believe our summer writing course will be invigorating and informative for those who attend.  Similarly, the college skills course will be a good introduction in how to prepare for the rigor of college-level instruction.”

“On behalf of the entire university, we are pleased to offer 20 Providence high school students scholarships to participate in our hospitality and culinary career explorations programs,” said Mim L. Runey, LP.D., president of the Providence campus of Johnson & Wales University. “Not only will they meet other students who share their career dreams, they will learn more about the career path they are considering and whether it is right for them. We welcome these students to our campus this summer and hope what they experience will get them excited for their college years ahead.”

"RISD is an advocate for art and design education and for the central role the arts must play in young people's lives,” said interim Rhode Island School of Design President Rosanne Somerson. “It is fundamental to RISD's mission to support community arts education and programming, and the RISD Museum is proud to partner with the City and other institutions in this effort. We are committed to connecting young people with this incredible cultural resource, and to the possibilities of thinking and making through art and design."

More information about Providence PROMISE is available online at http://www.providenceri.com/promise/.