Summertime for many students means a long-awaited break from classes and homework, going on trips with family and friends and having more time to play outside. Summertime is also when students leave behind some of what they learned during the school year, requiring a refresher when returning in August. For students that already find it hard to keep up in school, summertime can create a devastating impact on their retention rate. When students are already catching up, they cannot afford to fall behind. That’s why the YWCA Central Alabama’s ASEP (After-School Enrichment Program) is preparing its annual Summer Enrichment Program. The program is aimed at reiterating important lessons learned during the school year so that students are better prepared to move on to the next grade.
ASEP provides after-school enrichment to children of families that are experiencing homelessness during summer break. The need for the Summer Enrichment Program is great because the children are at a higher risk due to the transient nature of their families. The after-school program gives these children the extra attention and support they need during the school year. This is done through the use of tutors and academic enrichment activities. The YW works as a liaison between parents, shelters and counselors to ensure that the children’s academic and emotional needs are being met.
Each summer, children in the Summer Enrichment Program participate in a wide variety of activities including arts and crafts, field trips, swimming and sports. These activities keep them engaged in learning while they are having fun. The theme of this year’s program is “Enchanted Forest.” Children in the program will spend the days in the ASEP hallways and classrooms which have been transformed into a magical forest of talking trees, starlit “skies” and fantastical imagery of well-known characters such Rapunzel and her hair falling down the castle wall, Snow White and more.
“Our program is very structured, but we work hard to keep the children engaged by presenting materials in an exciting way,” said Delyne Hicks, Senior Director of Child Care Services. “Nothing makes us smile more than to have our children tell us how much fun they are having while they are learning. That only means we are doing something right.”
The YWCA Central Alabama would like to say thank you to all of the volunteers and staff members who chaperone the children’s summer activities. To learn more about the ASEP program, or if you are interested in donating to the YWCA, please click here.