A partnership with Greater Wichita YMCA and Wichita Public Schools USD 259, YSOAR is designed for children in first and second grade currently reading below grade level. The Y works with teachers and principals to identify students who will benefit the most from the program, and it is offered at no cost to families.
The program, which is held four days a week for five weeks, is currently being held at Caldwell Elementary School. Mornings are dedicated to literacy work, while afternoons are filled with enrichment activities that include art, music, science and physical activity. Children are provided breakfast, lunch, and a snack in the afternoon. In addition, there are parent workshops designed to encourage reading at home.
Nationally, the Y worked with over 3,300 children who participated in the Summer Learning Loss Prevention program last summer. 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:
- Nearly all parents/caregivers (97 percent) reported that their child was “more excited to learn” and 94 percent reported their child showed “increased self-confidence.”
- 96 percent families believed the program would help their child do better in school;
- 95 percent reported that the program helped their family read more books; and
- 94 percent said it helped them get more engaged in their child’s education.
The Y is committed to nurturing the potential of every child and is addressing the academic achievement gap through pilot programs focused on afterschool, early learning readiness, STEM and summer learning loss prevention. The programs, which are underway in nearly 46 states across the country, are designed to not only increase success in school, but to also foster social-emotional development and physical health and well-being.