Summer Bridge

An Effective Practice


Summer Bridge is a kindergarten readiness program in Marin County, California. It is a part of the First 5 Marin School Readiness Initiative, which promotes community-wide school-readiness planning in partnership with parents, schools, and local organizations. The Summer Bridge program is held in classrooms at local elementary schools. Kinder Advocates are available on site to help families with paperwork, immunizations and health requirements, and getting connected to community programs.

Teachers utilize two standardized curriculum: one focuses on social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development, and the second promotes interpersonal skill development. The program typically takes place from 8:30am to 11:30am, for five consecutive weeks during the summer. In addition, the program incorporates weekly family workshops on parenting, child development, nutrition, health and wellness, and family literacy.

The development of the Summer Bridge standardized curriculum was made possible through funding from a federal Early Learning Opportunities Act grant.

Goal / Mission

The program's goal is to help four- and five-year old children become better prepared for kindergarten.

Results / Accomplishments

In 2009, Summer Bridge held classrooms in the following Marin communities: San Rafael (Canal), Marin City/Sausalito, Novato, the Valley (San Geronimo/ Nicasio), and Shoreline/West Marin. Over 200 children participated for the entirety of the program.

Pre and post program developmental assessments revealed that students made statistically significant improvement in all four developmental areas: social emotional, cognitive, physical, and language development. In addition, there were notable gains in the proportion of students who were able to copy, draw, and recognize shapes, colors, and their own name. After the program, over 98% of parents felt that their child was better prepared to learn and interact socially with others in kindergarten. All parents reported that they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the program, and that their child enjoyed it.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Amy Reisch
1101 5th Avenue, Suite 215
San Rafael, CA 94901
Education / Childcare & Early Childhood Education
Social Environment / Children's Social Environment
First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission
Date of publication
Date of implementation
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Families