Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Y Helps Kids Combat ‘Summer Slide’

Innovative Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program

Did you know that many children experience summer learning loss or “summer slide” over the two-month break when they don’t engage in educational activities?

In fact, most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in reading skills over the summer months.*

Studies show that without access to summer learning activities, children from low-income environments can experience more significant learning loss than their more economically stable peers. Over time, these children continue to lose ground and by the fifth grade, many are two to three school years behind their middle- and high-income peers.

This summer, the Y will play its part in preventing summer learning loss among children who participate in its summer programs and camps.

The Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program offers reading and enrichment for first- and second-graders from low-income environments who are reading below grade level. Certified teachers and assistants work with students to not only help improve reading skills, but also provide afternoon programs dedicated to art, music, science and swimming lessons. This program is designed to give children well-rounded educational and physical activities all summer long!

Parents and caregivers are also actively involved in the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program: the Y offers workshops designed to encourage reading at home, helping parents become more involved in their child’s education.

By engaging students and parents, the Y has yielded some incredible results:

·         Children enrolled in the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program gained an average of 2.4 months in reading skills
·         97.6 percent of parents/caregivers report children are “more excited to learn”
·         99.7 percent of parents/caregivers believe their child will do better in school
·         98.3 percent of parents/caregivers believe the program helped their family read more books

(2013 Results from 34 sites, 985 children enrolled)

“It’s difficult for kids to retain everything they learned during the school year. That’s why the YMCA is dedicated to providing summer programs to help children keep up their reading skills, as well as nurture their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development to reach their full potential,” said Rebecca Kelley, director of achievement gap programs at YMCA of the USA.

Launched in 2013, the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program is now offered at Ys in 25 states, with the number of locations expected to grow. To learn more about the Y’s summer learning loss efforts and commitment to youth development, visit  

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