August 07, 2013

To ensure that all kids have opportunities to progress – not regress – with learning over the summer, the Y has teamed up with two national partners to provide innovative summer reading pilots at two local Title 1 schools.

Through a partnership with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for LIFE) 117 students at McCoy Elementary have received 6.5 hours per day of reading, math and science and enrichment activities. Designed to help young “scholars” gain new academic skills, the program is led by certified teachers, who have the skills and training to help boost kids’ reading scores by as much as six months in just six weeks.

At Union Park Middle School, the Y also launched the Out of School Time Reading Program funded through a $55,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Developed in conjunction with Orange County Public Schools, the program engages kids through technology – in the form of Apple iPads – which they use to read and research special interests.

“At a time when schools are challenged to do more with less, the YMCA has the knowledge, skills and experience to increase kids’ learning during out-of-school hours,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Education. “Working with great partners like BELL and Chase shows what we can accomplish by focusing resources. And based on this summer’s tremendous success, we hope to expand these pilots to support kids, schools and learning all across Central Florida.”