On May 17, 2017, the Portage Township YMCA was invited to the Women’s Impact Meeting of the Porter County Community Foundation. They were awarded with a grant in the amount of $25,000 for their achievement gap program, Summer Learning Loss Prevention.
Amber Alexander, CEO of the Portage Township YMCA along with Superintendent of Portage Township Schools, Amanda Alaniz, presented their grant proposal and were honored to have dinner with the Women’s Impact group along with 4 other agencies, Hannah’s Hope, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Gary, Dunebrook, Inc. and PACT of Porter County. All five agencies were awarded with grant funding; $2,000 each to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Gary, Dunebrook, Inc. and PACT of Porter County. Both Hannah’s Hope and the Portage Township YMCA were gifted with $25,000 each to implement their programs.
The Summer Learning Loss Prevention program at the Portage Township YMCA will provide children who have low literacy proficiency, the opportunity to bridge the gap with their peers. For children who have low literacy proficiency and come from low-income families, this grant will allow them to attend YMCA summer camp free of charge, providing both breakfast and lunch to them.
Children will be selected for this program with the recommendation of Portage Township School teachers. Curriculum will focus on academic literacy in the morning by State-Licensed teachers with a ratio of 12 teachers for every 8 children. Afternoons will focus on the supportive socioemotional growth through enriching activities by YMCA camp staff.
This national model is used in 29 states by YMCA of the USA and it has proven that during this 6-week program, 2nd graders have a national average gain of 3 months of reading proficiency and 3rd graders have a national average gain of 2 months of reading proficiency. The Summer Learning Loss Prevention program connects the schools, the YMCA, and the parents to a unified goal, the children of Portage.
Portage Township YMCA Summer Camp begins on Monday, June 5th and commences on Friday, August 11th. Registration is open all summer long providing care for children Monday-Friday from 6:30am to 6:00pm. For additional information about the Summer Loss Learning Prevention program or YMCA Summer Camp, please contact the Portage Township YMCA at (219) 762-9622.