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YMCA Brings Middle School Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program to Chatham County

In partnership with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Power Scholars Academy will launch this summer.

Published 04.17.17

The YMCA of Coastal Georgia, in partnership with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Y-USA and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) are excited to announce that they will launch the Power Scholars Academy at the DeRenne Middle School this summer. Power Scholars Academy is a five-week, full day, summer learning loss prevention program designed to tackle summer learning loss 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. The Y saw great success in our pilot program in Effingham County 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.

“We were incredibly encouraged by the success of the Power Scholars Academy program we piloted last summer in Effingham County,” shared Joel Smoker, President and CEO of YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “Our goal at the Y is to always listen and respond to the greatest unmet needs of our neighbors. With the support of Dr. Lockamy and his team, and the continued support of Dr. Shearouse and his team, we know this program will provide an impactful opportunity for our local students again this summer. Power Scholars Academy works to eliminate the educational disparities these students face and inspires and encourages them to dream beyond their reality.”

Participants in Power Scholars Academy will receive 180 hours of targeted math and literary instruction throughout the program; all while being exposed to enrichment curriculum which includes STEM activities, Spanish, art and physical education.  In addition to academics, Power Scholars Academy provides character driven curriculum, emphasizes and encouraged parent involvement and activates community service to build confidence and prepare students for future academic success.

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 online at starting Monday, April 17th. 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 online at starting Monday, April 17th. Completed applications must be submitted to Effingham Middle School.

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