With the right mix of academics and enrichment, summer programs can boost reading and math scores and help close the achievement gap for low-income children. We are investing in such efforts through the Blount County Education Foundation and through a coalition of funders called Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) Partnership as part of a strategy to increase high school graduation rates.
The Blount County work is already underway, thanks to a three-year grant from Community Funds that boosts library and day camp programs in math, science, arts and technology for more than 4,000 students in every grade. The Community Foundation also is part of the Evaluation Team, learning what works best and using that knowledge in other efforts to fight summer learning loss.
The SAIL partnership also focuses on summer programs, using $455,000 in grants from six area funders, including the Community Foundation, to support 16 organizations in the summer of 2013. With the expansion or addition of academic components in camps and recreation programs, students can explore new interests and skills and gain the support they need to prevent learning loss.
To find out more about this and other strategies toward our goal of making children successful along the education pipeline, contact James McCrary.