2018 Passport to Summer Learning Kicks Off

Providence Public Library Receives $7,500 Grant from Wells Fargo for Passport to Summer Learning

June 21, 2018

Citywide summer reading initiative kicks off with special book reading events at three Providence elementary schools during final days of school

While school children citywide during their final days of the school year are in the process of receiving their Passports to Summer Learning, Providence Public Library (PPL) announced today it was awarded a $7,500 grant from Wells Fargo. Funding from Wells Fargo will support Passport to Summer Learning, an innovative program aimed at addressing summer learning loss and mitigating achievement gaps among children in grades K-5 with the least access to community assets and educational resources.

Passport to Summer Learning is a collaboration with community organizations across the city of Providence, including the Providence Community Library, the Mayor’s Office, Providence Public Schools, Providence Parks, Providence Children’s Museum, Roger Williams Park Zoo, RISD Museum, Farm Fresh RI, and more. Passport to Summer Learning encourages families to get out in our community and spend time together by promoting and connecting them with engaging, enriching, free activities offered in and around the city by our collaborating partners and other organizations.

The time spent together discovering, exploring, playing, and learning helps support positive life choices and creativity while mitigating summer learning loss. Students track their activities, reading time, reflections, and more on a fun, colorful, engaging “passport” that shows the learning journey they embarked on during the summer months.

“Passport to Summer Learning truly exemplifies PPL’s mission of offering one-of-a-kind community programming that connects our youth to the wealth of learning opportunities throughout our city and state,” says Jack Martin, PPL Executive Director. “Our partnership with Providence Schools, Providence Community Libraries, City of Providence, and many others strengthens and elevates this great program to its fullest potential. We are so pleased to count Wells Fargo as a partner and supporter in this work!”

“Since its inception four years ago, this summer learning initiative has grown exponentially, both in participation and impact,” says Anne Kilkenny, PPL Early Childhood Services Coordinator and Passport Program Director. “In 2016 we distributed 12,000 and in 2017 we distributed 15,000 Passports to Summer Learning to Providence Public School students in grades pre-K-6. Students were asked to read 20 minutes a day for 40 days. Reading assessments administered before and after summer vacation demonstrate that students who participated in the program and read the required number of minutes maintained or improved their reading scores. This suggests placing emphasis on weekly reading for at least 20 minutes a day can translate into maintenance or growth for the beginning of the school year. Preliminary data from 2017 shows another year of positive, statistically significant impact on student reading scores, validating the impact of initiatives like Passport to Summer Learning.”

“Wells Fargo has a rich history of community support in Rhode Island and we have personal connections to the people in our communities – many of whom we proudly call our customers,” said Michel DiSandro, regional vice president in Rhode Island for Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking. “Providence Public Library provides critical services to youth, serving as an outlet for our city’s children to learn, thrive and become successful adults in a safe, enriching environment.”

PPL engages learners, inspires thinkers and connects diverse communities. PPL is a library re-imagined. Our library is a place where tradition and innovation intersect—serving as an open and collaborative center of teaching and learning where communities can connect, experience, create, and achieve. Approachable and inclusive, PPL is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of Rhode Islanders and everyone we serve.