The Equity Center, U.Va.

The Equity Center

A UVA Democracy Initiative center for the redress of inequity through community-engaged scholarship



Burley Middle School Summer Programming

Burley Middle School Summer Programming

Overview: The Equity Center partnered with local community organizations to provide supplemental after school programming to Albemarle County middle school students this summer at Burley Middle School. Our Summer Community Partnership offers a model for a coordinated, collaborative approach to reducing the opportunity gap through a college readiness and entrance program, serving 6-8th graders. The program seeks to complement and protect the investments of early childhood programs by reaching students at a critical transition point in the educational system: middle school. The partnership focuses on the ways in which community knowledge holders, school personnel, and University of Virginia (UVA) partners can provide innovative and contextualized summer programming that engages youth in the development of their future college and career pathways, addresses and responds to equity and inclusion gaps, and leverages the funds of knowledge often found in community mentors and grassroots support.


  • Career School Pipelines: Students will be introduced to UVA academic paths with student and faculty mentors to expose students to many career possibilities.
  • Place-Based Education: Students shift their attention to their locality, both natural and social, allowing them to understand the local and social histories that have made up their place.
  • Passion-Based Exploratory Learning: Individual students’ interests will be fostered by community organizations, UVA faculty, and undergraduate mentors, including campus tours and field trips.
  • Social-Emotional Development: Students will have consistent access to mentors, tutors, enrichment experiences, and other school-community mental health supports that build on strengths and develop social, emotional, and psychological competencies.
  • Village Mentality: At the core of this program is the intersection between students, school staff, UVA partners, and community leaders. Crucial to program success is the ability to leverage and foster these critical relationships to provide whole child support.