The February R.O.P.E. donations totaled $2102 for Sunday Friends of San Jose. Thank you for your generosity. Your donations will help break the cycle of poverty in our community.
The committee selected South Valley Family YMCA Summer Achievement Program as our March R.O.P.E. recipient. Here in our south San Jose community of Hoffman Via Monte, 85% of the children qualify for free or reduced meals, 74% are not proficient in English language arts and 39% are not proficient in math. There is a critical need for youth development opportunities to address the achievement gap, provide a safe place for children during summer months, serve nutritious meals, and get kids physically active.
To meet this need YMCA of Silicon Valley launched a low-cost, nine week Summer Achievement Program at Almaden Elementary school, a Title 1 school. Last year, 84 children attended the nine week program led by credentialed teachers and YMCA leaders. They were engaged in activities to increase literacy, improve math and science skills, enhance character development, promote nutrition education, and get them more active in a fun interactive way. Over the summer, the youth also enjoyed adventurous field trips. Their parents attended workshops focusing on strategies for school success and family health. Children received two healthy meals and snacks each day, ensuring parents that their kids were eating nutritious food during weekdays.
The 2013 program indicated an 80% to 95% achievement in every area the program addressed. Statistically, this population of children loses an average of 2.5 months of academic competency during the summer months due to the lack of opportunities. In 2012, initial results showed that students participating in the Summer Achievement program retained the 2.5 they are bound to lose and gained an additional 2.4 months. In 2013, students gained an average of 3.5 months.
This is our community and maybe our parishioners. The cost per child of this nine week program is $140 a week. Our fellow parishioners who are serving on the YMCA Board of Directors have asked us for our help. Last years response to this appeal was good. Let’s make it even better this year!