YMCA of Central Kentucky

Power Scholars Academy Success with Local Students

Published 11.29.17 5:00 am

Math and literacy gains show Power Scholars Academy at the YMCA of Central Kentucky prevented summer slide for Lexington students

Evaluation results show Lexington, KY K-4 grade students enrolled in the Power Scholars Academy at the YMCA of Central Kentucky powered by BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) gained three months in literacy skills and three months in math skills through the BELL curriculum. Power Scholars Academy was launched in 2013 by the YMCA of the USA and BELL in collaboration with local YMCAs and schools as an academic and enrichment program to prevent the summer learning slide, which reverses achievement gains made during the previous school year. The Power Scholars Academy summer program at the YMCA of Central Kentucky and Booker T. Washington Elementary blended rigorous literacy and math instruction with hands-on enrichment, social-emotional development and community engagement.

“Booker T. Washington staff and the YMCA of Central Kentucky are excited at the announcement that our kids have shown what we already know – they can achieve at high levels. When provided the opportunity to blend academics with engaging enrichment opportunities, students perform,” said YMCA of Central Kentucky Vice President of Youth Development Jessica Berry. On average, students not only avoided a potential two-month summer learning loss, but gained three months in both reading and mathematics instead.

According to evaluation surveys, 91 percent of teachers reported an increase in the self-confidence of enrolled students, known as scholars, and 97 percent of parents reported their children having a better ability to overcome challenges. The impact of Power Scholars Academy echoed through their circles of support as well. Surveys show 97 percent of parents say they are more involved in their child’s education and 100 percent of educators say the program helped them improve their professional skills.

An estimated 7.5 million K-8 students from underserved communities are performing significantly below grade level and up to two-thirds of the academic achievement gap is due to lack of access to summer learning programs. To address this challenge, BELL partners with local organizations like the Y to design and deploy holistic, scalable summer and afterschool learning experiences utilizing BELL’s comprehensive evidence-based out-of-school-time education solution.

“These academic outcomes and survey results confirmed once again that increasing access to high-quality learning experiences beyond the school year helps students get ahead when they return to school in the fall,” says BELL CEO Dr. Lauren Sanchez Gilbert.

This summer, nearly 7,500 scholars participated in Power Scholars Academy programs at 91 sites in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

About BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)
Founded in 1992, BELL is a national leader in evidence-based summer learning and afterschool programs for PK-8 students that close the achievement gap in underserved communities. BELL partners with schools, school districts, and other youth-serving organizations to reach approximately 15,000 students across the country through its summer and afterschool programs. Visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.

About the YMCA of Central Kentucky
The YMCA of Central Kentucky has been serving Lexington and the surrounding area since 1853. The YMCA is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and provides programs that support the healthy development of people of all ages. Through the generous contributions of our donors, the YMCA of Central Kentucky provides financial assistance that enables all members of the community to enjoy YMCA programs, regardless of income. The YMCA of Central Kentucky operates four full facilities in Lexington, as well as program offices in Jessamine County and Scott County. For more information on Power Scholars Academy at YMCA of Central Kentucky, please contact Jessica Berry at jberry@ymcacky.org or 859-367-7337.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, which strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background, nurturing the potential of children and teens, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and providing opportunities to give back and support the community. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change. Visit www.ymca.net for more information.

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