The areas of education, income and health intersect frequently, which is very true when helping children during summer months.
We know that research spanning 100 years shows that students lose ground over the summer months. Sadly, students from families with low incomes lose, on average, two months or more in reading. For many of these students, they are already behind when they first come to school. Even if they can catch up during the school year, the lack of learning opportunities in the summer makes that gap even wider. What is most alarming is that by the end of 5th grade, these children who would benefit from additional support are nearly three grade equivalents behind more affluent peers in reading.
Summer is also a time when families have a harder time making their budgets work because their food costs increase so dramatically. To make matters worse, the food that is available to them for quick and easy preparation may not be the healthiest choice in most cases.
Knowing all of these things, VCSC has taken an active role in providing enrichment opportunities and meal planning for children during the summer. Together, with other community partners, VCSC again helped fund and implement summer programs in Ames and Nevada this summer.
VCSC worked with both districts, and the planning teams organized the summer food program and the enrichment program to complement the academic program.
Enrichment activities included learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, reading, engineering, math and the arts. Both programs relied heavily on volunteers to provide the meals and the learning experiences.