The delegation from Heart of the Valley YMCA's Power Scholars Academy program received a $90,000 SAIL grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville on April 23, 2021 at Community Foundation Park in Huntsville, Ala. From left: Elizabeth Fleming, Executive Director, The Schools Foundation; Andrea Bridges, Executive Director, The C.A.R.E. Center; Melissa Thompson, CEO, The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville; Whitney Ivey, The C.A.R.E. Center; Beth Wilkerson, Education Coordinator, Heart of the Valley YMCA; Dr. Jamie Burton, Principal, New Hope Elementary School; Amy Mason, Principal, Madison County Elementary School; Adam Hampton, Principal, Owens Cross Roads Elementary School; Lamont Singleton, Director of Youth Development and Social Responsibility, Heart of the Valley YMCA; Jerry Courtney, CEO, Heart of the Valley YMCA; Molly Mullinax, Education Coordinator, The C.A.R.E. Center.
Summer learning loss is a concern for many parents over a normal school break. After a year of social isolation from their peers and limited-to-no access to the instruction that has been available in some communities, parental anxiety is compounded. Power Scholars Academy is the Heart of the Valley YMCA's answer to the question stressing many parents: How can I make sure my child hasn't fallen behind?
Power Scholars Academy is an innovative, five-week summer learning "camp" at school sites in Madison and Marshall counties where the focus is providing a super-charge of math and literacy as well as enrichment to children at risk of losing important academic ground over the summer break from school.
On April 23, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville presented the YMCA with a $90,000 SAIL grant - the nautical acronym stands for "Summer Adventures in Learning" - to ensure that the program will reach as many young students as possible this summer. The grant will specifically fund three sites, New Hope, Madison County and Owens Cross Roads Elementary Schools, and provide the BellXcel summer learning loss prevention curriculum and teaching staff trained to deliver it. The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville has been providing SAIL funding since 2017 for Power Scholars Academy programs conducted by the Heart of the Valley YMCA.
Over a normal, two-month summer break from school, children without access to activities that provide enrichment and education over the summer lose two months of instruction. Compared to their more affluent peers, they will start school with a two-month instructional deficit in the fall. Although progressing at the same rate, they never quite catch up in literacy and math skills.
Power Scholars Academy has proven its efficacy at combatting summer learning loss. In 2020, students participating in the program gained more than three months of knowledge in math and reading. Additional PSA partners include the 21st Century Community Learning Center, The C.A.R.E. Center, Madison County Schools and Friends of New Market.
The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is providing $180,000 in funding to support summer learning loss prevention programs in Madison County this summer.
For more information, contact Lamont Singleton, YMCA Director of Youth Development and Social Responsibility, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256.428.9622 ext. 3010.