BCNY Updates

Combating Summer Learning Loss

Prevention of summer learning loss or “summer slide” is driving much of our academic programming as we prepare for summer camp. According to the New York State Education Department website, it is estimated that summer vacation causes the average student to lose up to one month of instruction. Students from low socioeconomic households fall behind academically at a dramatically faster rate than their more advantaged peers, increasing the academic achievement gap and their summer learning loss.

In an effort to combat the “summer slide” our members participate daily in reading and math instruction. A majority of our summer activities are based around the our “Engineering is Everywhere” curriculum which explores math, design, and engineering principles through a variety of projects, experiments, and group activities.

You can combat summer learning loss at home by encouraging independent reading and family reading. See below for our recommendations. 

BCNY’s Summer Reading List:


Bippity Bop Barbershop
by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

A boy’s first trip to the barbershop.

Young Cornrows Callin’ Out the Moon
by Ruth Forman

A fun portrayal of summertime in the city!

Happy in Our Skin
by Fran Manushkin

A celebration of diversity through exploring how skin helps us every day.

Juna’s Jar
by Jane Bahk

Juna’s kimchi jar lets her imagination soar as she deals with her best friend Hector’s unexpected move.


The Things They Carried
by Tim O’Brien

A collection of linked short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. His third book about the war, it is based upon his experiences as a soldier in the 23rd Infantry Division.

The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton

A coming-of-age novel that follows two rival groups, the Greasers and the Socs (short for Socials), who are divided by their socioeconomic status. The story is told in first-person narrative by protagonist Ponyboy Curtis.

Lord of the Flies 
by William Golding

The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

A young adult dystopian novel set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses.

Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison

A novel about the African-American experience in the United States over four generations which follows the life of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, an African-American man living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley 
by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

The result of a collaboration between human rights activist Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley.

The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank

A book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll

An 1865 fantasy novel written by an English mathematician.