As part of our After-School Enrichment Program (ASEP), during the summer months the YWCA offers all day summer enrichment. The children participate in a variety of activities that keep them engaged in learning while they are having fun. In the mornings, the students participate in the daily five reading or math centers. In the afternoons there is art, creative writing, history or science to choose from. The program also schedules fun and educational field trips. So far, they have been to Jones Valley Farm, where they learned to plant and grow vegetables, and also Rickwood Caverns, where they participated in a rock study.
“Although we have a very structured program, we work very hard to keep the children engaged by presenting these materials in an exciting way,” said Pardo. “In addition to learning, we want the children to have fun,” Pardo added.
The YWCA Summer Enrichment Program recently celebrated June 21st as National Summer Learning Day (NSLD). NSLD is a national advocacy day recognized by summer programs to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for our nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development in communities all across the country.
“We don’t want our children to go back to school having experienced the ‘summer slide,’” says Marianna Pardo, ASEP Coordinator. “We want them to go back ready to succeed in the new school year.”
The “summer slide” is a learning phenomenon which means that children who do not maintain their academic skills through the summer months will experience a loss.
NSLD was celebrated just as a new 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book study was released removing Alabama from the worst five states when it comes to the well-being of children. This ranking was based on measures in four categories – health, education, economic well-being and family and community.
The 2013 KIDS COUNT study shows that the need for the Summer Enrichment Program at the YWCA is great because the education of our children is a very important factor in determining their well-being. They get the extra attention and support they need during the summer that keeps them engaged in learning while also allowing them the opportunity to experience things that would otherwise be out of economical reach for their families.
All activities for the Summer Enrichment Program are provided to participants free of charge with all supplies being provided by the support of our generous donors and the YWCA.
The YWCA would like to thank United Way, Birmingham Board of Education, VP Funds as well as the Belk Foundation for helping make our Summer Enrichment Program possible. To learn more information or to help support the Summer Enrichment Program and other YWCA programs, click here.