Reinforcing Reading

Y Scholars (formerly Y SOAR) features YMCA Staff working with teachers and principals to find first graders and second graders reading below grade level in participating schools. The program - free for all participants - engages students and families in reading through:

  • All day sessions, four-days-per-week, for five weeks
  • Mornings are dedicated to literacy work, afternoons feature enrichment activities (art, music, science, and physical activity)
  • Children are provided breakfast, lunch and a snack on program days
  • There are parent workshops designed to encourage reading at home

This five-week program is open to select students. Contact DEBBIE OGLE by email ( or phone (316.776.8242) for more information about participation.

Local Partners - National Program and Results

The YMCA of the USA (the national Y) has worked with more than 3,300 children who participated in the Summer Learning Loss Prevention program in 2017. Initial results show strong gains in reading skills for all participants, helping the students get on track for their grade level. In addition to this, when surveyed, parents and caregivers reported the following success indicators:

said their child was "more excited to learn"
reported their child showed "increased self-confidence"
said this helped their family read more books

Why the YMCA of the USA & the Greater Wichita YMCA Focus on Literacy

We are committed to nurturing the potential of every child and addressing the academic achievement gap through pilot programs focused on after school, early learning readiness, STEM and summer learning loss prevention.

Preventing Summer Learning Slide

The summer learning slide is a real issue for young people and our society. The term refers to the learning loss many children experience being away from school over the summer. The summer learning loss phenomenon is especially harmful to children who end the school year behind their classmates—pushing them even farther behind their peers.