Summer on the Hill’s mission is to enrich the education of promising, low-income public school students from The Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem. We prepare our students for selective schools and colleges, and offer guidance to them and their parents. Summer on the Hill (SOH) provides educational opportunities to accepted students for as long as ten years, from the end of 2nd grade through high school.
The Need for SOH
Bright Bronx students have few opportunities to enroll in public school gifted and talented programs. A review of the NYC DOE’s 2015-16 programs for Gifted and Talented (G&T) students found striking differences in opportunities at the elementary level:
- The Bronx has 131 elementary schools and only 7 G&T Programs.
- Brooklyn has 215 elementary schools and 28 G&T Programs.
- Manhattan has 108 elementary schools and 22 G&T Programs.
- Queens has 197 elementary schools and 29 G&T Programs.
- Staten Island has 44 elementary schools and 7 G&T Programs.
At the High School level, SAT prep classes, college counseling, and college visits are often too expensive for low-income families. SOH’s High School Program helps students prepare for college admissions exams and offers an array of college-readiness workshops and programs..
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A Record of Success
In 2017, 100% of rising ninth graders gained admission to college preparatory high schools, including Bronx HS of Science, Brooklyn Tech, Fordham Prep, Horace Mann, Iona Prep, and Cardinal Spellman.
96% of high school participants went on to attend college; in Fall, 2017 our graduates enrolled in NYU, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, UNC Chapel Hill (Morehead-Cain Scholarship), Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.
Attendance has remained consistently above 90%, which is remarkable given that our programs are voluntary, held outside of regular school hours, and require local travel. Attendance for our summer program was over 96%, demonstrating the commitment of our young students and their families.
Standardized test results: Scores of SOH students on the Stanford Achievement Test Series compared very favorably with students nationwide. They scored in the 89th percentile for Reading, the 92nd percentile in Math, and the 87th percentile in Language Arts. ACT testing showed a 13% increase in English scores, a 9% increase in Reading scores, and a 12% increase in Math scores.