Summer pop quiz: Which of the following is true?
A) By the end of summer vacation, it can take two months for a student’s brain development to get back on track
B) By the start of high school, two-thirds of the income-based achievement gap is attributed to summer learning loss
C) Two-to-three hours of learning per week is all it takes to prevent summer learning loss
D) All of the above.
If you guessed D., you’re right. When the school doors close for the summer and learning opportunities become limited, students can lose up to two months of math and reading skills. And the knowledge loss from those few months off can have long-term affects: “summer slide” affects the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income students and contributes to dropout rates.
That’s why yesterday, our United Way hosted more than 140 volunteers across our region as part of a global, network-wide Day of Action to help create stronger communities. United Way’s national Day of Action mirrors the work that local United Ways do year-round: empowering people to effect positive change in their own backyards to address the issues that matter most – issues like Education. And to ensure kids in our communities can enjoy a summer of discovery and develop new interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), volunteers packed 4,000 STEM activity kits for local students and engaged with their own little learners in exciting projects and activities.
Why focus on STEM? Early exposure to STEM increases a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school and pursuing a STEM-related career, but less than 20% of high school senior are proficient in science. Together, we’re working to change that statistic and fight for opportunities for youth to succeed.
You can help make a difference for students in your community this summer. Here’s how:
- Volunteer to mentor or tutor a student in your community.
- Donate books to local schools and libraries or support little learners through early grade reading volunteer opportunities.
Thanks to our Day of Action sponsors and our hosts, the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties and Reeds Road Elementary for teaming up with us to drive Impact for local students!
View our Flickr album.
Check out our media coverage:
- SNJ Today: “Volunteers Participate in Day of Action”
- Burlington County Times: “United Way Day of Action Volunteers Work to Ensure Learning in Summer”
- Press of Atlantic City: “Volunteers Pack Summer Science Projects for Kids”