SAN DIEGO (June 11, 2024) – San Diego Unified School District and San Diego Foundation (SDF) formally kicked off the 2024 edition of Level Up, marking the fourth year that top-tier summer enrichment programs and camps have been offered to district students tuition-free for families.

“Every student deserves a meaningful summer that includes access to camps, and academic and enrichment programs. Whether it’s learning to play guitar, visiting a museum or participating in a sports camp, Level Up offers many students opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach due to cost or transportation needs,” Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson said. “We are grateful for our partnership with nearly 50 community organizations that provide these experiences to our students so they can thrive during the summer and throughout the school year.”

In partnership with SDF, San Diego Unified offers robust summer programs to all district-enrolled students, from Universal Transitional Kindergarten through eighth grade. Programs include zoo camp, STEAM- and arts-based experiences, museum programs, and sports programs.

This year’s program will provide 10,000 student experiences, with a focus on expanding summer opportunities for English learners, foster youth, students who qualify for free or reduced lunch based on family income, and students receiving special education services. San Diego Unified data shows that, overall, summer program participants demonstrated larger gains in reading and math proficiency compared to non-participants. Often described as “summer slide,” Brookings Institution researchers have observed average test score drops during the summer in 3rd through 8th grade.

“These programs – and the nonprofit partners who offer them – are essential to helping our students grow,” said Pamela Gray Payton, SDF VP, Chief Impact & Partnerships Officer. “We know from talking to parents, partners and community members that these programs have been vital to our region’s students and their families.”

Level Up programs begin Wednesday, June 12, and run through August 9. Although space is limited, it’s not too late to register for open programs. Information is available by calling the San Diego Unified Extended Learning Opportunities department at 858-810-7310.

San Diego Unified and SDF celebrated the summer kick-off today at Clark Middle School in City Heights. The event featured a student performance from the Trinity One Theatre Troupe and was attended by representatives from San Diego Unified and SDF. The Chicano Federation and Youth Empowerment, nonprofits providing Level Up programs, also attended.

Level Up programs will be offered at 49 schools and off-campus community locations for nine weeks at no cost to San Diego Unified families. The first five weeks of programming will be offered at district campuses, with subsequent weeks of programming offered off-site with local nonprofit partners. Level Up SD sites were strategically selected to offer access to priority students.

Started in summer 2021, Level Up SD is an out-of-school time, or expanded learning, summer program for students enrolled in San Diego Unified schools. Since its inception, Level Up SD has partnered with 130-plus local nonprofit organizations to serve 25,000 San Diego Unified students.

About San Diego Unified School District

With nearly 100,000 students enrolled in Universal Transitional Kindergarten through high school, more than 13,000 employees, and 226 educational facilities, San Diego Unified is California’s second-largest school district. San Diego Unified serves a diverse student population representing more than 60 languages and dialects. Learn more at

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Education Initiative supports K-12 and higher education programs to extend opportunity to San Diego students as they prepare for success in life and work. For more than 49 years, SDF and its donors have granted $1.8 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Marisa Berumen, Communications Department, San Diego Unified, 619-847-6029,
Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation,, 619-814-1365