PBHA's Franklin I-O is a Summer Urban Program camp offering seven weeks of academic programming each summer to young people in Franklin Hill and Franklin Field.
Frankline Mardi & Carmella Verrastro
PBHA’s Franklin I-O Summer Program serves 80 children and their families from the Franklin Field and Franklin Hill housing developments in Dorchester. Franklin I-O offers seven weeks of summer programming to young people ages six to 13, engaging campers in an academic curriculum that builds self-esteem and supports young people to explore their identity, values, and physical world.
Like all of our Summer Urban Program camps, Franklin I-O engages campers in mornings of academic enrichment, afternoons of educational field trips, and artistic, cultural, and service-learning workshops throughout the week, along with two overnight camping trips and a day-long final trip.
Franklin I-O began in 1981 as the Intergenerational Outreach Summer Youth Program. It was an initiative launched by students in light of the lack of summer enrichment activities for the children of Harvard University’s dining hall workers. Many of those workers were residents of Dorchester, the neighborhood in which Franklin I-O currently operates. In the early 1990s, Dorchester, specifically the Franklin Field and Franklin Hill housing developments, saw a dramatic surge in gang violence. In response, Franklin I-O expanded its mission to address the problem of turf-based violence between the Franklin Field and Franklin Hill by creating an environment conducive to friendship, understanding, and conflict resolution for Franklin youth. Throughout the years and the changes the area has experienced, including the redevelopment of the Franklin Hill Housing development, Franklin I-O has continued to promote a stable, non-violent, empowered community. While the I-O in the program’s name has lost its original meaning, it remains as a reflection of commitment to the community and its voice, as well as a symbolic connection to the program’s past and the families who have shaped it.
Franklin I-O works in partnership with PBHA’s Franklin Afterschool Enrichment (FASE) to ensure continuous, year-round support for youth in Franklin Field and Franklin Hill.
WORK AT Franklin I-O
Franklin I-O, like all Summer Urban Program camps, is run by college students who serve as directors and senior counselors, or teachers, in the camp.
Directors oversee all camp operations, working through the spring and summer to train and supervise camp staff, manage finances, and ensure high program quality. Learn more about directing Franklin I-O.
Senior counselors manage a classroom of 10 children throughout the summer, implementing a self-designed academic curriculum, supervising field trips and community service projects, and supporting the operations of their camp. Learn more about working as a senior counselor.
In addition to its college-age staff, Franklin I-O employs high school students as junior counselors. Teens partner with a senior counselor to co-teach a class and participate in leadership workshops throughout the summer. The majority of SUP’s junior counselors once attended the same camp in which they work; many junior counselors at Franklin I-O were once campers in the program. Learn more about working as a junior counselor.
ENROLL IN Franklin I-O
Franklin I-O costs only $135 per camper, with a sliding scale for siblings. Preference is given to returning campers and children who have particular academic or financial need for the program.
Families should submit one camper application for each child who wishes to enroll in camp.