Press Releases | April 27, 2021

Indy Summer Learning Labs to Accelerate Learning for Marion County Students

Little girl swinging on the playground with her family

After one of the most challenging school years for students, parents and educators alike, The Mind Trust and United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) today announced plans for the Indy Summer Learning Labs, a free and fun summer learning and enrichment program designed to accelerate academic achievement and address the significant lost learning opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Families will be able to register their students for summer programming at 35 sites across the city and Indy teachers may apply to earn up to $10,000 for a part-time teaching role with the program at

“It’s been a hard year for so many Indianapolis students and families, but there is hope on the horizon. The Indy Summer Learning Labs represent the promise of a brighter academic future through high-quality education,” said Ann Murtlow, president and CEO, UWCI. “We’re proud to collaborate with The Mind Trust and dozens of community partners to provide fun, nurturing and educational programming to the students and families in our city who need it most.”

In collaboration with schools, districts, community organizations, and higher education institutions, the Indy Summer Learning Labs will provide free, high-quality in-person and virtual instruction to Marion County students entering grades 1 through 9 in the 2021-2022 school year. There are no qualifying criteria to enroll, but the program will focus on reaching historically marginalized students and families who deserve equitable access to summer enrichment and learning.

Thirty five organizations and schools across Marion County will serve as Learning Lab sites, and additional site partners will be announced on a rolling basis. Participating site locations include:

Allegiant Prep Academy
Avondale Meadows YMCA
BELIEVE Circle City High School
Brookside Community Development Corporation
Charity Cares Early Academy
Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School
Children’s Bureau
Christamore House
Decatur Township Schools
Edna Martin Christian Center
Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center at Crooked Creek
Finish Line Boys and Girls Club
Hawthorne Community Center
Indianapolis Public Schools
Irvington Community Schools
Keenan-Stahl Boys and Girls Club
KIPP Indy Public Schools
LeGore Boys and Girls Club
Lilly Boys and Girls Club
Nanny Loving Care
Phalen Leadership Academies
Room to Bloom
Rooted School Indianapolis at Eastern Star Church
Sankofa School of Success @ Arlington Woods 99
Shepherd Community Center
The PATH School
The Reset Center
The Success Center at East (Carriage House East Apartments)
Tindley Genesis Academy
Tindley Summit Academy
Victory College Prep
Westminster Neighborhood Services
Westside Missionary Baptist Church
Wheeler-Dowe Boys and Girls Club
Witherspoon E-Learning Center

Each site will host the Indy Summer Learning Labs for five weeks, from June 21-July 23. Students are required to attend all five weeks of the program. Families should visit to fill out an interest form and they will be contacted when registration opens in the next two weeks.

Lavinia Group, a world-class education management consultancy, is providing the Indy Summer Learning Labs a customized math and literacy curriculum aligned to Indiana’s academic standards, as well as robust professional development featuring Lavinia Group’s signature methods of Intellectual Preparation and Student Work Study. Participating students will also take a pre- and post-Lab assessment so teachers can collect meaningful data on progress, and Lavinia Group will provide tools and resources to keep track of progress on a daily basis over the course of the summer.

“At Lavinia Group, we are singularly-focused on helping our partner schools close the opportunity gap through joyful and rigorous literacy and mathematics instruction,” said Arin Lavinia, founder and CEO, Lavinia Group. “We are thrilled to partner with The Mind Trust and United Way of Central Indiana to bring Lavinia Group’s anti-racist curriculum and proven methods for professional development to the kids, teachers, and families of Indianapolis this summer.”
In addition to its focus on building English, reading and math skills, the Indy Summer Learning Labs will offer students the opportunity to engage in a variety of enrichment activities, ranging from science and art to physical education and community-based projects.

“The Mind Trust and United Way of Central Indiana are proud to create access to summertime academic and social-emotional support for Marion County students through the Indy Summer Learning Labs,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “Our city’s students, families, and educators deserve community investment to create access to high-quality summer programming for those that need it most. We are excited to partner with Lavina Group to deliver a world-class curriculum and with trusted community partners to serve Indianapolis students and families.”

“There’s no question the pandemic disrupted learning for Indianapolis Public Schools students along with students across the state and country,” said Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent. “We’re dedicated to providing a menu of high-quality options for our students to choose from within the district through our own summer school programming, as well as through community partnerships like this one with The Mind Trust and United Way of Central Indiana. The summer learning labs are the perfect mix of academics and enrichment activities to help accelerate learning over the summer, preparing students to hit the ground running for the start of the new school year. ”

Educators who are interested in supporting students – either in-person or virtually – are also invited to apply for teaching, coaching or instructional aide roles at Licensed practitioners will be compensated with a $10,000 stipend for full participation in the training and program duration. Teacher aides will be compensated with a $6,000 stipend for full-time work and $3,000 for part-time work.

In January, The Mind Trust and United Way of Central Indiana announced a joint investment of $500,000 to launch a planning process to launch the Indy Summer Learning Labs. The Mind Trust and United Way of Central Indiana plan to apply for additional resources for the program from the State of Indiana following the passage of House Bill 1008 into law. The legislation was sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk last week and will establish a $150 million fund, administered by the Indiana Department of Education, to provide resources to community-based approaches to combat the significant loss of learning opportunities that students have experienced throughout the pandemic.

“We applaud our state’s leaders for acting quickly and boldly to address this issue. For Indiana to fully recover from the effects of COVID-19, we must all work together to accelerate learning, especially among students who are most at-risk of falling and staying behind,” said Murtlow. “We look forward to building on this momentum and helping thousands of Central Indiana students get back on track for success next school year and beyond.”

About United Way of Central Indiana

United Way is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit to learn more.

About Lavinia Group

Lavinia Group partners with schools across the country to close the opportunity gap through world-class literacy and math instruction and exceptional teacher and leader training. Since 2015, Lavinia Group has partnered with hundreds of schools to deliver transformative results for over 100,000 children. Visit to learn more.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 49 schools, 15 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,800 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms.