YMCA Family Center fighting summer learning loss
Summer learning loss is the phrase that is applied to the school-based knowledge that some students tend to lose during summer vacation. This year, the YMCA Community Family Center in Taylorsville is working to reduce that loss and close the gap in classroom performance.
The center offers summer day camp programs that include daily field trip and structured academic enrichment. They also have a tiered pricing system to encourage families from all incomes to enroll.
“Many of the teachers we work with say it takes over a month to get the students back on track,” said Angela Wright, YMCA Salt Lake County Regional Director. “Our goal is to close the gap between the end and beginning of the school year, and have the students ready to start where they left off.”
The learning loss varies from one economic demographic to another. Middle income students show steady growth with minimal loss in the summer, whereas their low-income counterparts experience more loss in the summer. And over the course of the years, the difference in achievement is significant.
One cause for this disparity is the lack of quality summer programming for low income families. While middle and high income students have access to overnight camps, summer camps and other activities designed to keep their students active, low income students tend to stay home and inside during the summer. Summer learning programs have the potential to help youth improve their academic and other outcomes. This is especially true for children from low-income families who might not have access to educational resources throughout the summer months and for low-achieving students who need additional time to master academic content.
Wright said the YMCA’s targeted approach to reducing summer learning loss coincides with the best practices recommended by researchers. Research points to several practices that are associated with program quality, including individualized instruction, parental involvement, and small class sizes.
Learn more online at www.summerlearning.org. The center is located at 4223 South Atherton Dr. in Taylorsville. Phone is 801-839-3388.