They may be too young to be worried about their future careers, but for thousands of elementary school-aged children in Toronto, summer is a time to learn and get ahead of their fellow classmates.

This year, the number of elementary school-aged children enrolled in public summer school programs has nearly doubled, with close to 8,600 students registered.

The growing popularity of summer school can be attributed to parents wanting to boost their child’s confidence in the classroom.

"People want their kids in (summer school) because it makes a difference in how their kids will feel in September," Karen Falconer, the executive superintendent with the TDSB, told CTV Toronto.

The demand for summer-school programs is especially high in inner-city neighbourhoods, where the achievement level tends to be lower, according to Ali Abdi, the principal at Greenholme Junior Middle School.

"(Summer school) helps (students) avoid the so-called summer relapse, where kids have the tendency to lose some of their reading and writing," Abdi said.

But despite the focus on learning, some children enrolled in summer school say they don’t mind being stuck in a classroom.

Seven-year-old Makaila Jones spends her afternoons playing sports and brushing up on her drama skills. “(It’s) very fun. We don’t have to wear uniforms,” she said.

This year, the TDBS has tripled the number of sites that offer summer school programs for students in kindergarten to Grade 8. Last year, only 10 inner city schools in Toronto were open for the summer.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness