• summer of learning and joy logo
  • summer of learning and joy logo

San Diego’s free Summer of Learning and Joy program offers students enrichment and escape

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By KARLA PETERSON | San Diego Union-Tribune

After more than a year of living their educational lives through a screen, students in the San Diego Unified School District have the opportunity to spend part of their summer in the classroom. Also on stage, behind the camera or in the garden.

It is all part of Level Up SD, a Summer of Learning and Joy — a free summer-enrichment program that is available to all San Diego Unified students. The program offers in-person classroom instruction in the morning, followed by a smorgasbord of afternoon activities hosted by more than 65 San Diego nonprofit organizations.

There are theater classes from the La Jolla Playhouse and and art classes from A Reason to Survive (ARTS). There are dance classes from City Ballet, barista training from the San Diego Coffee Training Institute and wildlife day camps from the Living Coast Discovery Center. Students can connect with the ocean at the Ocean Discovery Institute or learn the art of documentary filmmaking with the Media Arts Center San Diego’s Teen Producers Project.

This is not your usual summer school because this has not been your usual year. Thanks to a massive infusion of state and federal COVID relief funds, San Diego Unified is able to offer this program to all San Diego Unified students. And thanks to grants from the San Diego Foundation, which is partnering with the school district, the nonprofit organizations can take the enrichment beyond the classroom.

In addition to helping students get their brains back into gear, Level Up SD wants to reboot their hearts, souls and creative spirits.

They’re not calling it the Summer of Learning and Joy for nothing.

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Image Attribution:

Horticultural therapists Emalyn Leppard (left) and Amy Zink are shown at the Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet’s garden, which will be the site of the therapeutic gardening program offered by Level Up SD, a Summer of Learning and Joy. The free summer program offers all San Diego Unified students in-person classroom instruction and activities hosted by local nonprofit organizations. The therapeutic gardening program is hosted by the Bayside Community Center in Linda Vista.(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

About Level Up San Diego

Acerca de Level Up San Diego

La escuela de verano generalmente se ofrece a un grupo selecto de estudiantes con dificultades. Level Up SD está abierto a todos los estudiantes de K-12 y es GRATIS. Esto significa que miles de niños de todos los rincones de nuestra comunidad ahora pueden aprovechar la instrucción presencial dirigida por un maestro y las actividades de verano más allá del aula, como aprender a navegar en kayak o aprender a volar un dron, por primera vez.

Level Up SD fue creado este año por el Distrito Escolar Unificado de San Diego y la Fundación San Diego gracias a un compromiso de $ 31 millones por parte de la Junta de Educación Unificada de San Diego.