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Reducing Summer Learning Loss

Back to School

Our recent Power Scholar graduates are heading back to school! The Power Scholars Academy serves 900 youth in more than nine program sites over the summer with academics, enrichment activities and field trips. A pilot partnership between the YMCA and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), the Power Scholars Academy tackles summer learning loss and builds strong youth, not only academically, but physically and emotionally.

The Power Scholars Academy

For six weeks over this summer, youth are taught reading and math skills by certified teachers Monday through Thursday, with Fridays being for field trips like museums and amusement parks. At the start of the program the youth take a diagnostic test for the teachers to plan their teaching lessons better for each individual, but enough that everyone will benefit from what's taught. At the end of the six weeks the scholars take the diagnostic test again to see growth and reduction of summer learning loss The program operates from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. The scholars arrive, receive breakfast and lunch and snacks throughout the day and participate in enrichment activities in the afternoon such as gardening, dance class and playing group games in the yard to promote healthy living. Throughout the program, the scholars learn many skills in education, social life and how to stay healthy.

The Impact of Summer Programs

Going to school in San Francisco, I’ve always attended summer programs similar to power scholars that gave me academic support ranging from mentoring, one on one academic support, to group classes, and social enrichments such as cooking, dance music classes. I’ve had friends that have experienced summer learning loss, and they weren’t in any summer programs that supported them academically and socially. I've seen first hand how the lack of summer programming can make an impact on you when you return to school the following school year.

Preparing for the Future

As a Bank of America Student Leader Intern, over the summer I have been working at the YMCA Association Office. I was able to get a close look at the Power scholars Academy by attending the programs off-site and talking to teachers and students about their experience. It is clear to me, that without summer programs like the Power Scholars academy, summer learning loss can have a big impact on someone's future education.