Newark kicks off Summer Learning Week with four grants totaling $10K from United Way

The United Way of Greater Newark will award four grants Monday that total $10,000 to four non-profits to mark the start of the first-ever Summer Learning Week in Newark.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said he intends to make Summer Learning Week an annual event.

The Accelerating Summer Learning Opportunities mini-grants will be given to programs within Newark Thrives! – a network that provides opportunities for kids when they are out of school. The grants are as follows:

  • The Gem Project: $5,000;
  • Abbott Leadership Institute: $2,000;
  • Mighty Writers: $2,000;
  • Bricks 4 Kidz: $1,000.

The mini-grants will go to support 4-6 week summer learning experiences for youth throughout the Greater Newark area. 

“The City of Newark is proud to join the State of New Jersey and United Way of Greater Newark in proclaiming the inaugural Summer Learning Week as a way to strengthen the educational development of one of Newark’s most important resources – our youth,” Baraka said.

“I commend United Way of Greater Newark for getting much-needed resources into the hands of the incredible organizations that are expanding access to quality summer and out-of-school learning opportunities for Newark families. As we prepare students to return to school in September, this community effort will also help us move Newark forward to a more equitable and educated city.” 

United Way of Greater Newark CEO Catherine Wilson said the grants will have great impact.

“The pandemic has only exacerbated the issue of academic and summer learning loss, particularly in our Greater Newark community, where many children already lack access to out-of-school time opportunities,” she said. “We’re thrilled to see Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Baraka draw attention to this issue and uplift the educators and organizations, including the recipients of our mini-grants, working to provide resources to students.”

Traymanesha Lamy, Director of Education at UWGN, said the group is thrilled to get support for summer learning from the state.

“With the challenges of the past year creating significant barriers to the learning and development of young people, this is a critical time for the state of New Jersey to fully embrace out-of-school time,” she said. “This is a significant victory for our youth, and United Way of Greater Newark and Newark Thrives! are excited to be leading this movement to increase access to summer learning opportunities throughout New Jersey, and in particular, the greater Newark area.”

Summer Learning Week is intended to raise awareness of the value of summer learning and out-of-school time programs in combating academic and summer learning loss and supporting the overall development of New Jersey youth.

Murphy said programs such can have big impact. 

“This initiative will promote invaluable summer learning and out-of-school time opportunities across our state to assist New Jersey youth with addressing the unique challenges they are facing during this unprecedented time and aid in reopening our schools safely in September,” he said.


Click here to learn more about United Way of Greater Newark or to donate to Newark Thrives!