Help Our Summer STARS Shine!
Summer is coming!
At our United Way, we know that for the 1 in 4 children who live in poverty, summer creates uncertainties as they face food instability and potential learning loss over the summer, called the “summer slide.” This means that those children fall 2 to 3 months behind their middle-income peers who tend to advance by one month during the summer. By fifth grade, the summer slide can result in a reading level gap of three years, just as students are preparing to transition into middle school. Students who fall that far behind are much more likely to drop out of high school than their middle-income peers.
I am excited to announce that our United Way is launching Summer STARS, a program to help close the achievement gap for low-income students. Building on our Square One Project goal of keeping kids on track and programs such as Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Summer STARS will ensure that children in the Sacramento region who are at risk of falling behind during the summer months have access to healthy meals and fun learning opportunities.
The Summer STARS program will:
- Create a fun and safe summer spot for kids and families in their neighborhood.
- Provide kids with free healthy meals throughout the summer.
- Offer a free early literacy curriculum and fitness activities designed for Kindergarten through 6th Graders.
- Encourage kids’ participation and attendance through opportunities to earn weekly STARS badges and a Summers STARS backpack at the end of the summer.
What excites me most about Summer STARS is that we will be tracking the program’s impact with reading assessments at the start and end of the summer. Our goal is to return those students to school in the fall, ready to shine.
I hope that you are just as excited as I am about Summer STARS and I look forward to reporting our results in the fall. In the meantime, I ask that you consider supporting Summer STARS. A gift of $50 will support a Summer STARS site. A gift at any level will help make a difference. If you have never given to United Way, I can’t think of a better way for you to begin. Join us in helping our Summer STARS shine!