Social Ministries Outreach: South Valley YMCA Summer Achievement Program
The Social Ministries Outreach Committee has selected South Valley YMCA Summer Achievement Program as the recipient of the April 25th & 26th collection. This program has been a recipient of our R.O.P.E. donations for several years. It’s hard to imagine that 85% of children in our Hoffman Via Monte neighborhood qualify for free or reduced meals. Seventy five percent are not proficient in English language arts and 39% are not proficient in math. There continues to be 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. It has been so successful that the program has expanded to Miner School. Last year 132 low-income youth attended the program led by credentialed teachers and YMCA leaders. The children were engaged in programs that not only improved literacy, math and science skills but enhanced character development, promoted nutrition education and got them more active in fun activities. 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.
Statistically, this population of children loses an average of 2.5 months of academic competency during the summer months due to lack of opportunities. Students participating in the Summer Achievement program gained an average of 3.5 months instead of losing 2.5 months. This is our community and possibly some of our parishioners. Last year we donated $2,336 — let’s make it even more this year.