Summer Arts and Learning Academy X

Summer Arts & Learning Academy

The Summer Arts & Learning Academy, Baltimore City Public School’s elementary grades summer program operated by Young Audiences, gives students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend their summer learning from the best teachers and professional teaching artists our state has to offer—all while having fun!

The FREE full-day, five-week program is an action-packed, highly engaging summer learning experience for Title I City Schools students currently in grades PreK-5.

Students explore math and literacy in a unique arts-integrated environment that prevents summer learning loss, allows them to develop socially and emotionally, and expands their personal creative process. After summer, students who attend most of the program come back to school ahead of their peers in math and reading!

Check back in February 2019 for the next opportunity to apply.



Smart Steps Children’s Centers will be on-site to provide aftercare for Academy students. Your child may qualify for a voucher that would reduce the cost of the program. Read our FAQ to learn more.

New in 2018!

Along with the Academy’s 2018 expansion to serve more than 2,200 students across eight school sites comes new opportunities for our students through various partnerships, including athletics with Morgan State University and one-on-one reading tutoring with Reading Partners. These expanded offerings will be available to all students, with opportunities to participate in sports, to learn to code, and to have one-on-one literacy tutoring.


2019 Dates Coming Soon

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Aftercare: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Free breakfast and lunch will be served.

2018 Academy Locations


About the Academy

The Summer Arts & Learning Academy is designed, led, and managed by Young Audiences/Arts for Learning for Baltimore City Public Schools. Now in its 4th year, this free, 5-week program engages elementary grade students from Title-1 Baltimore City schools in a dynamic learning environment focused on literacy, math, and arts exploration. Students participate directly with teaching artists working in a variety of mediums, including:

painting, songwriting, acting, dance, slam poetry, illustration, drumming, ceramics, mixed media visual arts, photography, playwriting, percussion, hip hop music, filmmaking, African dance, spoken word, flamenco dance, storytelling and more!

Daily literacy and math classes are co-taught by an academic teacher and professional teaching artist allowing students to experience reading, writing, and math like never before: through the arts! Students might find themselves writing songs to summarize main ideas in a story or creating dance sequences to remember the steps in solving math word problems.

In 2014
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In 2015
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In 2016
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In 2017
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In 2018
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The Summer Arts & Learning Academy has proven to be an effective way to prevent summer learning loss in literacy and math.

On average, all children can lose approximately two months of learning from the previous school year during the summer months without engaging educational activities, and for students from high-poverty districts, the loss is even greater. More than half of the achievement gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers can be attributed to the unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

Major Funders

Middendorf Foundation

Children kneeling on stage around a microphone and taking turns singing into it with musician Scott Paynter accompanying them on guitar.

Hear Scott Paynter on smARTbeats!

October 16, 2019

smARTbeats returns to WTMD on Saturday, October 19 during the weekly children’s program Young At Heart! On this month’s segment, host Lisa Mathews talks with Scott Paynter, or Scotty P as he’s known around town, one of our talented teaching artists from Summer Arts & Learning Academy (SALA). He…

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June 14, 2019

Written by Stacie Sanders Evans, President and CEO of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Belonging. That’s the word that has been on my mind. Our founder, Nina Collier, understood belonging. She felt music belonged in schools, that artists belonged in a…

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Study Shows YA’s Summer Arts & Learning Academy Exceeds Expectations in Supporting Academic and Social-Emotional Growth

February 18, 2019

Students in free arts-integrated program for City Schools realize growth in math, reading, writing, and social-emotional learning – especially for those behind academically. BALTIMORE, (February 18, 2019) – A new study shows that students who participate in Baltimore City Public…

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Playworks Maryland

Playworks Maryland is excited to once again partner with Young Audiences to bring recess to SummerReads. Playworks’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe and meaningful play. Playworks is the leading nonprofit in the country to leverage play as a tool to promote healthy behaviors and improve the learning environment in elementary schools. Our goal is to establish play and recess as a core strategy for teaching social-emotional skills, conflict negotiation strategies, and to create a safe space for improved learning in schools.