Summer Learning Program Has Great Partners in St. Michaels

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Summer is a time for kids to play and have fun. It also has the potential to put move some kids below grade level. Talbot County Public Schools (TCPS), the St. Michaels Family YMCA and Christmas in St. Michaels are working to prevent summer learning loss.

Kids from minority populations or those that do not have an opportunity to attend summer camp or do an activity with an educational component are at risk for summer learning loss. When these kids attend school in the fall, there is an achievement gap that results in the kids being behind in their grade level. If the kids can be involved in an educational experience over the summer the gap can be closed and the kids can start the school year at the same level as their peers.

A solution that the the YMCA of the Chesapeake has been a part of, for the Easton Family YMCA and the St. Michaels Family YMCA, is partnering with TCPS to offer a full day experience. In the morning the kids are in a classroom learning reading and STEM based activities and in the afternoon they transition to a camp atmosphere of crafts, swimming and fun. TCPS and the Y have partnered to provide classrooms, transportation, meals and fun. Environmental Concern, the St. Michaels Fire Department, a Naval Academy Blue and Gold officer and volunteers from the St. Michaels High School helped with the STEM classes.

The Y’s Strong Communities Campaign helps to fund the program as well as TCPS now that St. Michaels Elementary School is a Title One School. Title One Schools have high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. The funding is to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

This year, Christmas in St. Michaels donated $2,500 to help cover expenses for the Y to facilitate the program. Tracy Cohee, Executive Director of the St. Michael’s YMCA, said “their generous donation made it possible for us to serve the kids in the St. Michael’s area that were identified as being at risk for summer learning loss”. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. The St. Michaels Family YMCA and TCPS have indeed proven that with partners interested in helping the community, anything is possible.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits and the largest Human Service organization on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Shore Ys engage over 27,000 members; men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the shore’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  In 2016, the YMCA of the Chesapeake provided over $1,226,000 in assistance to over 12,422 community members, turning no one away due to inability to pay. www.ymcachesapeake.org

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