In partnership with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Y-USA and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life),YMCA of Coastal Georgia is excited to offer Power Scholars Academy at the DeRenne Middle and Effingham County Middle schools this summer. Power Scholars Academy is a five-week, full day, summer learning loss prevention program designed to tackle summer learning loss for middle school students while supporting the academic, physical and emotional development of youth. Through the generous support of our partners, rising sixth, seventh and eighth grade students can participate in this program for free.
According to a study from the RAND Corporation, the average summer learning loss for low-income students is an average of two months of reading skills, while their higher-income peers make slight gains. Unfortunately, summer learning loss is cumulative, with low-income students falling further behind after summer without involvement in educational programming. Those statistics, coupled with the expressed need for an emphasis on education programs for middle school students make this program even more vital in Chatham County. In our pilot program at Effingham County Middle School last summer; students demonstrated an average 1.5 month gain in math skill and an average 2 month gain in reading skill in just five weeks.
The Power Scholars Academy program is a full-day learning experience that combines academic instruction with fun and hands-on enrichment activities, field trips, and service projects. The program is designed to help scholars gain new academic skills and prepare to enter school in the fall ready to excel. A day at Power Scholars Academy starts with a healthy breakfast and community-building events. Scholars then transition into classrooms, where certified teachers and trained teaching assistants lead small-group instruction in literacy and math. Power Scholars Academy staff use research-based curricula aligned to rigorous standards, and apply data from computer adaptive assessments to differentiate instruction according to scholars' unique learning needs.
After lunch, scholars rotate through a series of enrichment courses and activities focused on topics such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), creative arts, and health & exercise. Examples of courses include robotics, creative writing, Spanish, studio art, and character development. Fridays in Power Scholars Academy are "Mentor Fridays," which include field trips to local museums, universities, parks, or other fun destinations, as well as guest speakers and community service projects.
Students will be accepted into the program through an application process, with a program capacity of 90 students in each county. The Chatham County Power Scholars Academy will be offered at DeRenne Middle School from May 29th – June 30th. DeRenne Middle School students will have first priority, but all eligible students are welcome to apply. Applications will be available at DeRenne Middle School or downloaded below. Completed applications must be submitted to DeRenne Middle School.
The Effingham County Power Scholars Academy will be offered at Effingham Middle School from June 6th through July 8th. Applications will be available at Effingham Middle School, the Effingham YMCA or downloaded below. Completed applications must be submitted to Effingham Middle School.
For more information about the Power Scholars Academy, please email Audrey Rodriguez or call 912.351.3622.