Summer Programs for Youth

Summer 2018


Summer Programs for Youth at Mayo Street Arts include K-1 Morning Tutoring, the RAD program, and the free lunch program.

2018 summer programs have been made possible by the Brick and Beam Society of the United Way of Greater Portland, the Opportunity Alliance, East End Community School, LearningWorks, and Mayo Street Arts.

The goal is to a provide a vibrant, safe and inspiring center of summer learning that helps children ages 5-11 reach grade reading level. The program engages youth in the arts, builds community in the East Bayside and surrounding neighborhoods, and is accessible to low income families in the community.



Most children live within walking distance and reside at nearby public housing. Many children and their families are English language learners and speak multiple languages. Countries of origin last summer included Sudan, Somalia, DR Congo, Angola, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, Honduras, and U.S. Many parents are in process of assimilating, finding work, and navigating a new life.


K-1 Morning Tutoring provides tutoring, teaching, reading, games, and lunch, taught by East End Community School Staff. The morning tutoring program is a pilot program addressing a gap in summer learning for rising kindergarten and first grade students who will benefit from summer learning. 2018 will be the second year of the program. The program serves up to 20 students ages 5-7 each day with an average attendance number of 9. The program is taught by two East End Community School staff with help from Americorps volunteers.



RAD! (Reading, Art, Dance!) provides a literacy-rich environment with a focus on reading and the arts. Students receive reading and writing instruction, lunch, and daily arts enrichment activities like music, dance, and puppet theater. This will be the fourth summer of the program. RAD serves up to 30 students ages 7 to 11 each day with an average attendance of 18 students. RAD is taught by one lead teacher and two assistant teachers, with additional support from Americorps volunteers.

The program is unique in that it provides curriculum for students of varied ages, languages, and reading abilities. Increase in reading enjoyment is a primary goal, whether students reads on their own, with help from an adult, or simply listen to stories with a group. Students discuss books they read, write and share their own stories, and eventually volunteer to read to others. Students participate in the Portland Public Library’s Summer Reading program, and receive visits from the Bookmobile each week.

Students create their own performances for the end of summer celebration, National Night Out. In 2017 students built their own kites and took a trip by boat across Casco Bay to Bug Light Park to fly their kites, and will have several field trips to look forward this summer.

RAD 2018 will feature visits by puppet theater artists who will work with children to make their own puppets and a performance based on folktales.


The free lunch program provides important healthy nutrition for children who may be food insecure or not otherwise have access to healthy meals. Lunch is provided by Opportunity Alliance.



The program is free by invitation, with priority to new Mainers and students who may not otherwise have access to a summer learning program. Students are invited by teachers and staff at Mayo Street Arts and East End School, with recommendations from Community Policing, LearningWorks, Portland Housing, and other community stakeholders.

Enrollment begins in April. In 2017 there was a wait list of 12 for the afternoon program. Over the course of the summer, we were able to accommodate most of the students on the waitlist due to shifting attendance. While one of our goals is more consistent attendance, we were glad that more students were able to have some time in the program.


Americorps volunteers placed by LearningWorks assist with tutoring, reading, arts activities, lunch, and field trips in the morning and afternoon programs. Past volunteers have helped with ‘walking school buses’ to get children safely to and from the programs. Many of the volunteers are already familiar with students and teachers through their school year placements at East End Community School.



Mayo Street Arts coordinates a summer consortium of arts programming partners LearningWorks, Portland Rec, Reiche Summer School, the YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater. Based on the idea that music, theater, and art enhance students understanding of literature – and the world – performances and events have included puppet theater shows, kids concerts, and art exhibits. 700 students of need were able to attend inspiring performances and events through the consortium in 2017, and in 2018 will attend similar events TBA at the Portland Public Library.



A culminating event of summer is the annual neighborhood block party, National Night Out. A nation wide initiative bringing neighbors, businesses, and police together for a night of fun, food, music, and solidarity, our local event at Fox Field allows students the opportunity to get on stage and showcase dance, music, and other accomplishments to a crowd of 500+ parents and community members at a fun and multicultural event representing the unique talents of East Bayside and Portland.




The 2017 program brought a new level of creative activity and community togetherness to the neighborhood. Welcoming East End Community School to the program is a major help as teachers are already so connected many of the families and students served.

The Mayo Street Arts summer program model is a community based, grass roots endeavor reaching many students and families who need help the most, and builds a welcoming community resource of families, artists, and teachers within walking distance. We are excited about summer programming and the continued positive impacts we can make with strong partnerships and caring efforts by the community.



Do you enjoy reading and mentoring young people? Interested in volunteering? Please send us an email at for more information.