The Y Believe Summer Learning Academy seeks to build strong, literate, and empowered children prepared for the next level of their academic learning. By providing summer academic enrichment, with a focus on literacy, for students identified as being most at risk for summer learning loss, the Academy plays a much needed role in curbing that loss and closing future achievement gaps. The Academy is a key part of YMCA’s work to ensure a level playing field for all children. In partnership with Campaign for Grade Level Reading and the Waterloo School District, the Academy has the ability to boost student interest and motivation in reading, generate more positive attitudes toward learning, increase self-esteem and connect the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities.

The leadership model for the academy is unique in that it brings together current teachers of the Waterloo School District to serve as our Y Summer Learning Academy Coaches, pre-service teachers to serve as Classroom Instructors, and other college students to serve as Recreation Specialists to provide Academy participants with an educationally rewarding and recreation- engaging summer experience. Our team will engage children in academic enrichment activities for part of each day and then also engage them in fun experiences like swimming, clubs, field trips, and games.

During the summer of 2017, the Academy will serve 200 children in Irving Elementary and Becker Elementary in Waterloo. Kids are identified through their schools, so registration occurs at the individual schools.

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