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2024 Summer Boost Report across CAST Schools


In 2022, Bloomberg designed Summer Boost in response to COVID-related learning loss to support students over a five-week period in advancing academic progress in English Language Arts (ELA) and math while providing engaging enrichment opportunities. Bloomberg Philanthropies launched its inaugural Summer Boost program in New York City and then expanded to Baltimore, Birmingham, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C. in 2023. At CAST, we’re excited to host Summer Boost camps at three of our campuses this year providing hundreds of students with ELA and Math enrichment opportunities in a fun and exciting way.


According to the Summer Boost 2023 Evaluation Report, researchers found that students who attended Summer Boost in Summer 2023 gained on average 4-5 weeks of learning in math compared to peers and 3-4 weeks in English Language Arts, and that this equates to ~31% of math Covid-related learning loss recovered and ~22% for ELA. Additionally, the program was effective across demographic groups, cities, achievement levels, and grades – and in a variety of contexts and approaches. There were particular bright spots for older students and ELL students.




The summer boost camp for CAST Imagine/Med was held for 6th-8th graders and had up to 55 total students in attendance. The students participated in a variety of learning activities that were broken up into four categories. The first category was Camp Quest: Matters of the Heart. Here, the students studied the human cardiovascular system in both English and Spanish. The students also learned about the basic functions of labs, the autopsy of a pickle, and dissected the heart of a sheep. In addition, they participated in various heart-healthy activities such as Yoga, Team Games, and Fitness.


The second category was Culinary Math. Here the students were taught a variety of healthy cooking recipes using CHEF (Culinary Health Education for Families). The recipes were for foods such as pizzas, fruit parfaits with Greek yogurt, and healthy chips alternatives. They were also taught Math skills involving problem-solving such as addition, subtraction, and measurement. The third category was Heart Art. Here, the students learned art that promotes creativity such as calmness and cooperation. Students made heart models out of clay, drew their own creative versions of hearts, and illustrated them using chalk on pavement. In addition, the students were taken on various field trips to places like The McNay Museum of Art, TrueHeart Ranch Nature Park for Hike and Paint, and College Trip and Scavenger Hunt at TAMU-SA.


The fourth and final category for the CAST Imagine/Med Summer Boost Camp was Literature Study. Here, the students read Five Things About Ava Andrews by Margaret Dilloway. This novel depicts a heartfelt and funny story about a shy eleven-year-old who learns to manage her anxiety through improv classes—and discovers her activist voice.




The Summer Boost Camp for CAST Tech was held for 9th graders and included an attendance of up to 50 students. The Summer Boost Camp for CAST Tech was literature study and theme-based. Students read a novel titled Refugee by Alan Gratz, a novel about three different teens and their families who are escaping their homelands for various reasons. In correlation, the students were exposed to the integration of all subject areas with world refugee stories. This included information with related graphs, maps, and news articles, that share historical and present-day stories and information regarding refugee challenges and triumphs.


The students also participated in a ZOOM interview scheduled with Afghanistan refugees who formed a cricket club. In addition, the students attended events such as team building at iFly and Andretti, Bibliotech experiences, and a tour of the Main Library.


Advanced Learning Academy


The Summer Boost Camp for ALA (Advanced Learning Academy) was held for 1st through 9th graders and boasted an attendance of up to 200 students. The CAST Tech Summer Boost Camp had no specified theme, but rather an intentional targeting of students who needed additional support in math, reading, and writing integrated with fun, exciting enrichment activities.


The teachers worked with students in small groups and focused on enrichment opportunities coupled with math, reading, writing, social studies, and science. This included activities such as Bucket drumming-exploring different cultures rhythms, Climate, and ecosystems plus landscape designing. Other activities included Piñata making, Film making (short films), Water study- cycles, buoyancy, and clean water with San Pedro Creek, zoo, and area parks downtown, and Culturingua partnership for Arabic studies.


The CAST Network is thankful for Bloomberg Philanthropies and its generous support! By investing in our students today, we are preparing them for a brighter future tomorrow.


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The Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Network is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. CAST Schools are partnership schools with a focus on STEM careers, project based learning and work-based learning. Key partners include public school districts, higher education institutions, and local employers from target industries.