When school ends, many children from low-income families lose access to resources important for positive development such as nutritious meals, adult supervision and activities that keep them engaged mentally.
Time away from school can contribute to the academic disparity that exists between children from low-income households , who often begin school less prepared, and their peers. Without intervention, the gap – know as the Achievement Gap – widens, and kids from low-income backgrounds fall further behind.
As a leading nonprofit for youth development, the Y works to help all kids reach their fullest potential, nurturing their positive social-emotional, cognitive and physical development. Through the Summer Learning Loss Prevention program, the Y provides literacy and enrichment opportunities so children can build their academic skills, develop greater confidence in their abilities and get a strong start to the school year.
Studies show that by fifth grade, children from low-income households are on average two to three grade levels behind in reading compared to kids from middle-income households. In contrast, children who participated in the Y’s six-week Summer Learning Loss Prevention program in 2014 gained between two to three months in reading skills. Ninety-nine percent of caregivers agreed the program helped increase children’s reading skills, and 98 percent said it improved children’s attitudes about school.
In 2016, the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana served 100 kids through the Summer Learning Loss Prevention program. Other summer youth programs offered at our Y also incorporate these academic principles. To learn more about Y programs that help kids learn, grow and thrive during the summer, view this short video ».