At the Top of the Class
As part of an innovative pilot to mitigate summer learning loss for area students, the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester and The Granite YMCA introduced Power Scholars Academy Camp last summer.
Aimed at inner city students in need and provided free of charge, the joint collaborative used the YMCA Power Scholars Achievement Gap model. It was funded by the YMCA of the USA and other charitable contributions and provided a six week, full day program that served 51 area youth entering grades 6-8.
The pilot program proved to be a strong success and the two organizations announced today that they will be providing the program again this summer and will be looking to engage even more students.
“The goal of the program was to forestall summer learning loss by providing students with a well-rounded curriculum that included classroom learning, enrichment activities and physical fitness," said Diane Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. “Many children who are not engaged during the summer months wind up behind their peers when school begins in September. We were determined to help mitigate that learning loss.”
“We knew we had a good model and a strong collaboration between two like-minded organizations,” added Leslee Stewart, Vice President of Development at The Granite YMCA. “But given that it was a first year program, there were certainly some unknowns. However, the results are in and we’re pleased to share that the program was highly successful.”
Key results from the program include:
- 210 hours of total summer learning
- 89% student daily attendance
- 3 month average gain in reading proficiency
- 3 month average gain in math proficiency
- 93% increase in student self-confidence as reported by teachers
- 100% of parents reporting that students enjoyed their summer experience
- 79% of parents reporting that they are now more involved in their child’s education
“We are very excited by our year one results, particularly the data around increased reading and math skills,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “Studies indicate that students in need can experience as much as a two month loss in these areas so we are thrilled to be able to change that equation,”
Power Scholars is highly structured, research-based, and follows a number of quality and fidelity markers, including strict staff qualifications, training, and student/staff ratios, as well as academic and enrichment measures. Academic rigor, high expectations and engaging learning experiences drive the program.
Students received 180 minutes of daily data-driven, differentiated instruction and remediation in literacy and math led by certified teachers in a highly engaged learning environment. Students had access to computers to use online learning modules from BELL’s (Building Educated Leaders for Life) research-based curriculum to address Manchester’s Core Curriculum. All students were assessed pre and post program.
A nutritious breakfast, healthy lunch and snack were served daily and each student received at least 60 minutes of physical activity. Enrichment included character development, substance, violence and bullying prevention, service-learning, 21st century skills, STEM, creative arts, college and career visits and presentations, and adventure trips. Students could also earn Friday field trips to sites around the state.
To further ensure a safe and healthy environment when the school day ended, the Boys & Girls Club provided a “wrap around” program daily from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. with dinner and a wide range of activities for participants.
Due to the success of the first year effort, Power Scholars Academy is expanding in year two said Ms. Stewart. “We’re pleased to work in close collaboration with Dr. Vargas and the Manchester School District and as a result, we hope to serve 120 students this summer. We are also very excited to have Granite United Way step up to collaborate with us, not only with significant financial support, but also as a partner in looking ahead to explore how our community may continue to serve these students as they transition to high school.”
Later this spring, the two organizations will share information on the application process for the summer of 2017. In the meantime, those with questions can contact Natalie Barney, Director of Teen Services at The Granite YMCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (603) 232-8623.
About The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester
The Manchester Boys Club was incorporated in 1907 and became the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester in 1983. We are one of the 53 original organizations that formed what is now Boys & Girls Clubs of America. From its meager beginnings as reading and recreation rooms, the Manchester Club has grown to include the main Clubhouse at 555 Union Street and two school-based after school sites at Jewett Street and Highland Goffe's Falls Elementary Schools with a focus on academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development. In addition, we operate Camp Foster summer day camp in Bedford, NH. www.begreatmanchester.org.
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2016, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at over $1.63 million to 19,872 individuals. To learn more, please visit www.graniteymca.org.