Mission and History
Summer on the Hill’s mission is to enrich the education of promising, low-income public school students from throughout the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem, prepare them for selective schools and colleges, and offer guidance to their parents. Summer on the Hill (SOH) provides educational opportunities to accepted students from the end of 2nd grade through high school — for as long as ten years.
“At SOH we have classes with teachers who care about our education…SOH has changed me as a student. When I go to school, my teachers tell me how much I have improved. I feel happy!”
History. Initiated in 1994 as a summer experience for 21 public school students on the campus of the Horace Mann School, SOH subsequently developed into a Grade 3-12, year-round program under the direction of its founder and Executive Director, Dr. John McIvor. Each year, SOH serves 250 students in its Grade 3-8 and High School Programs.
1995: SOH added academic-year Saturday morning classes to its summer program to give students year-round enrichment.
1999: SOH started a High School Program for alumni of the Grade 3-8 Program .
2004-2005: The NYS Education Department incorporated SOH, and the IRS certified SOH as an independent 501(c)3 organization. Time Warner awarded SOH a major grant for extra enrichment classes and a full-time HS Program Director.
2007: Time Warner awarded SOH a renewal grant. The Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation made two major gifts. The NY Community Trust awarded SOH a two-year grant to establish a summer program for rising 9th graders.
2009: The National Child Labor Committee awarded Dr. McIvor the Lewis Hine Distinguished Service Award for increasing opportunities for low-income students. NYC Councilman Robert Jackson awarded SOH its first Council grant.
2010: Councilmen G. Oliver Koppel and Jackson awarded SOH discretionary grants.
2011: 12 students were accepted to NYC specialized high schools, including six to Bronx Science.
2012: SOH’s 2012 valedictorian told the commencement audience that SOH is “about seizing the opportunity and doing something great for yourself.”
2014: SOH celebrates 20 years of serving Bronx and upper Manhattan communities.