Eight Grant Recipients Will Receive Services Valued at $25,000 Per Agency to Bolster Learning Over Summer
WILMINGTON, Del., April 20, 2016—Today, United Way of Delaware (UWD) and The Summer Learning Collaborative (SummerCollab) announced the Make Summer Smarter grant. Open to all Delaware non-profits offering summer programs to low-income students, the grant will provide $25,000 in services to eight agencies. The program aims to further SummerCollab’s mission to end summer learning loss among low-income students, which research suggests accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap between rich and poor youth. The eight grant recipients will receive a suite of training and resources representing best practices learned over the last three years of SummerCollab’s operation. Resources include access to SummerCollab’s online portal of lesson plans written by certified teachers, a full time Operations Specialist to manage supply systems, 20 hours of program consulting, counselor training, personalized learning reports, access to the Let’s Go Learn adaptive assessment, instructional coaching services, and an October summer learning retreat for camp leaders to analyze camp outcomes. Camps will also receive access to the Reading is Fundamental summer library and trainings, a literacy program that has been successfully implemented statewide at Boys and Girls Clubs in partnership with United Way. In fall 2016, four of the grant recipients will be invited to formally join the SummerCollab and receive a full scope of supports from the program. The remaining four agencies will continue to prepare for reapplication in spring 2017. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with more agencies throughout the state through this partnership with United Way,” said SummerCollab President and Executive Director Catherine Lindroth. “United Way has supported SummerCollab since our launch, and this grant process will empower us to provide proven best practices to nearly 3,000 students, a critical step to ending summer learning loss in Delaware.” Michelle A. Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer added, “This program aligns with United Way of Delaware’s work ensuring that children are properly prepared and ready to achieve success, and most importantly, reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club and The Summer Learning Collaborative is key in helping to reduce summer learning loss which then positively affects the following school year. Last summer our students made three months of learning gains, a complete reversal of typical learning loss. The Make Summer Smarter grant will provide resources to nonprofits dedicated to early learning, and United Way is proud to be a partner in this work.”
About The Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning Collaborative (SummerCollab) works with existing community institutions such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to utilize talent, training, personalized consulting and new technology to address systemic barriers to achieving high quality academic student outcomes during the summer. In 2015, SummerCollab served nearly 1,000 Wilmington students who, on average, gained three months of learning, reversing the typical three months low-income students lose. The SummerCollab’s mission is to ensure all kids have access to extraordinary summer experiences that light them up about learning and all the possibilities of who they can be. For more information, visit http://www.summercollab.org and follow us on Facebook.
WILMINGTON, Del., April 19, 2016—This past weekend, 1,400 students from Padua Academy, Salesianum School, and Ursuline Academy ended their months long fundraising effort with the SALSTHON dance marathon. Students from all three schools raised over $130,000 for the Summer Learning Collaborative (SummerCollab), a Wilmington non-profit that works with community centers to end summer learning loss among low-income students. The event, hosted by Salesianum, began at 10:00 PM and ended at 6:00 AM.
SALSTHON, which stands for Students about Saving Lives, takes inspiration from other large charitable dance marathon’s such as Pennsylvania State University’s THON and University of Delaware’s UDANCE. In its fourth year, organizers including the Salesianum Student Council, chose to give proceeds to SummerCollab after many students at the three schools worked with the organization over the past summer. One Ursuline senior, Emma Derr, is a current intern with the organization and expressed her excitement for the work SummerCollab is doing in Wilmington: “Last summer when I worked with SummerCollab, I had the pleasure to see kids grow in their belief about themselves and their ability to learn. That’s what it’s really all about.” Dan Jackman, Associate Dean of Student Activities at Salesianum, added, “The Summer Learning Collaborative has the same grit and energy that our students do; we are both determined to work for the betterment for our community. That is exactly what we look for in an organization.”
Funds raised will provide eight weeks of athletic and arts opportunities, which will be known as Tyler’s Camp, named after the late Tyler Ritchie Brown, a Salesianum senior who passed away in March. Over 250 low-income Wilmington children will have the opportunity to choose a camp that will provide students with unique and diverse summer experiences. Facilities for Tyler’s Camp will be provided by Salesianum and Ursuline. A large portion of the funds will be allocated to transportation costs, which SummerCollab staff highlighted as one the largest barriers facing low-income youth attending camps like these, which are often outside their neighborhoods. In addition to the schools, SummerCollab is partnering with Longwood Gardens, Hagley Museum, The Wilmington Children’s Chorus, OperaDelaware, and Microsoft to provide unique summer programs.
“I’m awe struck by the high school students who came together to make this happen. Their efforts show just how much one person, one institution, one community can make a difference” said Summer Learning Collaborative President and Executive Director Catherine Lindroth. “I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work closely with the students and administration at these schools. Their passion and drive for service is humbling, and collectively we will make an enormous impact on low-income youth this summer.”
Students at SALSTHON celebrate raising over $130,000 for the Summer Learning Collaborative
About The Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning Collaborative (SLC) works with existing community institutions such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to utilize talent, training, personalized consulting and new technology to address systemic barriers to achieving high quality academic student outcomes during the summer. In 2015, SLC served nearly 1,000 Wilmington students who, on average, gained three months of learning, reversing the typical three months low-income students lose. The SLC’s mission is to ensure all kids have access to extraordinary summer experiences that light them up about learning and all the possibilities of who they can be. For more information, visit http://www.summercollab.org and follow us on Facebook.
“The site — combined with the recruitment and training strategies and a vigilant focus on adapting to data (Lindroth said she analyzes the data for impact every week) — will be spun off from Teach for America and built as its own entity, Lindroth said.”