Ava’s Story, Del Roble Elementary

“The South Valley Family YMCA Summer Learning Program at Del Roble Elementary was a godsend to our family. Our daughter Ava enjoyed every minute. I have never seen a child so happy to be attending a program during her summer vacation,” the Lopez family marveled. “She had nothing but great things to say about her leaders and teacher.”

At the Y, we know that the greatest academic losses can be seen during the summer months, when numerous children – particularly those from low-income families – lack access to regular educational activities. Studies confirm that locally, almost half of all children are currently performing below grade level, and with each year that passes, these struggling students are more likely to fall even further behind their peers.

Del Roble Elementary, Summer Learning Program

Ava had the chance to use educational apps and programs like Lexia, Dreambox, and Raz-kidz with devices such as Google Chrome Books, iPads, and Apple desktops. Tools like these keep children engaged and eager to learn. Technology-based learning supports the development of 21st Century skills, which includes collaboration, critical thinking, creative development, and communication.

For the Lopez family, they immediately heard and saw the impact the program was having on Ava. “We couldn’t wait to pick up Ava every day to hear about she did.”

The stats are compelling. An evaluation conducted in 2015 found that first grade students who participated in the program gained an average of 5 months in their reading assessments and first grade students gained 3 months. Even more telling, every single participant reported that the program helped them become more excited to learn.

“We will be forever thankful for the wonderful educational and recreational opportunities the Y provides for our family. Ava has developed socially, mentally and physically since being enrolled with the Y. Her STEM/Literacy post test scores reflected this firsthand after finishing the Summer Learning Program,” says the Lopez family. “Thank you for giving our daughter a safe environment to grow and learn.”