YWCA Central Carolinas is grateful for the ongoing support of Good Friends. This summer, Good Friends
made it possible for 5 students in K-5th grade to attend YWCA’s 9-week, full-day summer programming
in Mecklenburg County. YWCA youth programs provide year-round academic support for over 345
elementary school students living in ten economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Mecklenburg
and Union Counties – including the nine weeks of summer. Due to funding cuts, once summer
programming ended, we closed one of our Mecklenburg youth learning centers which leaves us with
nine centers. Summer programming, however, was offered at all ten.
Children attended summer programs at YWCA from 9 am to 4 pm for nine weeks this summer. For
YWCA students, the summer is an opportunity for extended education. With your support, these
children were able to avoid the summer learning “slide.” Two-thirds of the achievement gap between
lower- and higher-income youth can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
In addition to YWCA’s daily use of guided reading programs using the instruction and assessment tool,
iReady, community partners like the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, the Hornets Book Bus and
Promising Pages join in with YWCA’s activities to make reading fun and exciting.
While still focusing on reading and parent engagement, extended program hours during the summer
allow for more time to plan and take longer field trips and enjoy fun extracurricular activities.
Oftentimes, centers will choose a theme to build their programming around and will weave in literacy
projects, field trips and activities around that theme. This summer, one of our centers used a Super
Heroes theme that included lessons like “Every Hero Has a Sidekick: the importance of being a team
player,” “Unlikely Heroes: humility and meekness can lead one to greatness,” and “Heroes Fly High: a
positive attitude and behaviors lead to success.” Field trips at this center included a trip to the Schiele
Museum, going to see a movie at Phillips Place Movie Theatre, and going to a local senior living facility
to visit seniors and play literacy games. The Hornets Book Bus also made a trip to a number of our
centers, where the kids met Hugo the Hornet and picked books from the book bus. Please see attached
photos of an example of just some of the fun learning that was had this summer!