For many of the students we serve in our after-school and summer programs, our on-site Learning Centers are a second home. Maryam and Ali Alattabi, Iraqi refugees who moved to Sierra Vista with their parents a year ago, said they love coming to their Learning Center.
“I come in and smile,” said Maryam, who is 12 and headed to 6th grade next year.
Neither Maryam nor her 10-year-old brother Ali could speak English very well when they arrived in the United States almost two years ago, but now they are practically fluent, thanks to the individualized support they receive year-round from us.
“I got help with math problems,” Maryam said. “The teachers at the Learning Center made me understand more.”
Even though school is out for the summer, learning continues for the more than 700 kids enrolled in our free 6-week summer learning program. At all ten of our Learning Centers, students are staying academically engaged through reading, science, technology, engineering, and math activities that reinforce the skills they gained during the school year.
There is also plenty of time for fun, like swimming and volleyball, exciting field trips and interesting guest speakers from the community.
Summer learning is critical for our students because it helps narrow the achievement gap and prevent “summer slide.” Research shows that low-income students tend to fall behind during the summer months because of limited access to year-round academic support.
Our unique summer learning program provides kids in kindergarten through 5th grade the consistent academic support they need to succeed right where they live and at no cost to their parents.
Maryam and Ali’s mother said her family feels happy, comfortable and safe since moving to Sierra Vista. As part of our Children’s Home Initiative program for at-risk or formerly homeless families, they receive additional support services from our staff.
We expect that Maryam and Ali and the rest of the students in our summer learning program will wow their new teachers this fall!