Summer Design Studio

Through Summer Design Studio (SDS), our seven-week summer enrichment program, we teach at-risk teens literacy and math through the scaffold of product design. We hold our design and S.A.T. preparation classes at Pratt Institute on the Brooklyn campus, so our students can experience the reality of college. Summer Design Studio also offers disadvantaged youth crucial employment and work experience: every afternoon, students are involved in painting under-resourced but vital neighborhood facilities.
Research shows that low-income students who don’t have access to organized activities lose about two months of grade equivalency over the summer. This sad reality deepens the achievement gap and puts underserved students at greater risk of dropping out. Our goal is for all of our SDS students to return to school in the fall ahead of where they were upon departing for the summer.

  • Monday through Thursday mornings from 9–12 are spent at Pratt Institute in product design workshops led by Publicolor staff.
  • 100% of rising 10th graders take our S.A.T. prep class
  • Friday mornings are spent on enrichment trips and activities, providing students with the opportunity to explore real-life application of the skills they are developing. Recent activities include guided tours of design departments at museums such as the Jewish Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library, and the Rubin Museum of Art, exposure to the Adobe Creative Suite, silk-screening, and site visits to design studios.
  • Afternoons are spent keeping our students involved in community service and volunteerism revitalizing neglected but vital community facilities with vibrant color. Recent projects have included homeless shelters, public schools and Department of Education administrative offices. 
  • 70+ at-risk students performing two or more years below grade level participate each year.
  • Our 11th graders saw a 10% rise in pre to post-diagnostic S.A.T. scores after their summer classes.
  • All eligible students were registered with The College Board and Fastweb, a clearinghouse for scholarship applications.
  • Principals laud Summer Design Studio as a best practice in support of fighting summer melt.

For more information, contact Melissa Rioux, Director of Summer Design Studio + COLOR Club Manager