Summer vacation is a highly anticipated time of rest, relaxation and recreation for area students each year. Many students travel on family vacations, while others go to camps, join sports leagues and everyone loves spending time in the sun at the local swimming pool. However, if you are a child who lives in an area shelter, like the children we serve in the YWCA’s Summer Enrichment Program, opportunities like these are few and far between. Because for these children, camps and sports are a luxury they cannot afford and most of them do not own a swimsuit of their own.
But thanks to the Summer Enrichment Program and employees from BB&T, the children we serve will get to experience all the joys of summer. As part of their Lighthouse Project, BB&T employees visited the YWCA and brought the children bathing suits, beach towels and sandals – all the things a child needs to enjoy fun in the sun during summer break!
The BB&T Lighthouse Project is a community service effort in which all associates are encouraged to lend a hand to others. Teams of associates volunteer time away from work to partner with organizations that help those people most in need of assistance.
“The concept is simple. We want every one of our associates physically working in their communities to make a tangible difference in people’s lives,” states Kelly King, BB&T Chairman and CEO.
Each summer, children in the YWCA Summer Enrichment Program for homeless children participate in a wide variety of activities including arts and crafts, field trips, swimming and sports. 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.
In addition to all the recreational activities, the Summer Enrichment Program also addresses a learning phenomenon called “summer slide,” which means that children who do not maintain their academic skills through the summer months will experience a loss. This is especially concerning for children who may already be behind.
In response to the “summer slide,” the YWCA Summer Enrichment Program staff has enhanced the summer curriculum and set goals to try to combat this occurrence. The YWCA curriculum helps students retain and enhance the information they learned during the school year.
“We try to keep our children engaged in learning during the summer months by creating a balanced curriculum that also includes exciting extracurricular activities,” says Marianna Pardo, ASEP Coordinator. “We want to make sure our children keep learning, but they also have opportunities to have fun and enjoy summer that they might not have otherwise.”
The YWCA would like to extend our thanks to BB&T and Board Member, Sireka Melton, for their generous donation to the children that are served by the YWCA in this program.
To learn more information or to help support the Summer Enrichment Program and other YWCA programs, click here.