GPSN Raises $6.5M to Support Over 45 LA Organizations For Second Annual Summer of Joy

For the first time ever, every student enrolled in Los Angeles Unified, City of LA, and select charter school summer programs will receive at least one field trip during the summer.

 July 21, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA) — Throughout the first half of 2022, GPSN, in partnership with LAUSD, the City of LA, and other local organizations came together to identify ways to serve more students and enhance student experiences to provide a second annual Summer of Joy.

As a result, GPSN estimates that nearly 50,000 students will participate in one of the Summer of Joy programs being offered throughout the city. To support the 45 plus organizations offering summer programming, GPSN raised $6.5 million to improve program quality and student experiences–with significant funding from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and Ballmer Group.

“The work to address the devastating impacts of the pandemic has to be a year-round effort,” said Ana Ponce, executive director of GPSN. “The Summer of Joy is designed to expand the educational opportunities and experiences for LA’s students so that they can grow up to lead thriving adult lives. The pandemic exacerbated the pre-existing opportunity gap in Los Angeles. We hope to close some of it through our Summer of Joy offerings.” 

In addition to the many traditional summer programs being offered to students, every child enrolled in one of the programs will have the opportunity to go on a field trip this summer to places like the LA Zoo, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Discovery Cube, the La Brea Tar Pits, and SoFi Stadium.

“Improving student achievement requires a coherent, caring and courageous approach to enhancing the school experience and on-campus opportunities,” said Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We greatly appreciate the work of partners like GPSN, which this summer, provided incredible field trips and specialty programs to youth throughout Los Angeles Unified.”

To build on the promising first year of the Summer of Joy initiative, GPSN placed an additional focus on enhancing the existing program offerings by leveraging collective assets across the city to enable a larger number and an increased diversity of quality programs to serve all students and meet their needs. This year there was more specialty STEM, arts, and sports programming through partners such as the Natural History Museum, Roundhouse Aquarium, Wildwoods, P.S. Arts, and LA sports teams including the Dodgers and LA Rams.

The LA STEM Collective, a group of museums, aquariums, and nonprofit and community-based science education organizations, and the LA Sports Council Foundation played an instrumental role in convening STEM organizations and sports teams to bring enhanced programming.

GPSN has also begun a collaborative effort with the Partnership for Children and Youth and Public Profit to collect a set of common data points across summer programs and capture the overall impact of summer programming on students and families at this unprecedented scale for Los Angeles.

“The Summer of Joy initiative has allowed us to open our doors to even more students who otherwise might not have had experiences like these this summer,” said Stu Semigran, President and Co-Founder at EduCare Foundation. “It’s also made it possible to expand the types of programs and opportunities we are able to provide, from more arts and STEM programming, to making sure every child can go on a field trip this summer!”

Additional partners working collectively to increase expanded learning opportunities across the LA region this summer and beyond include the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, California Community Foundation, Expand LA, LA84 Foundation, Los Angeles Unified School District, and the Greater Los Angeles Education Foundation.

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