The YWCA’s After-School Enrichment Program (ASEP) serves school-age children living in local homeless shelters during the academic year. In the summer months, the ASEP Program serves as a site for our Summer Adventures in Learning program (SAIL) which provides academic and enrichment activities for approximately 50 children from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. during the work week.
During the summer children participate in hands-on academics targeting the summer slump in areas of reading, math and science. They are also given the chance to participate in typical summer experiences such as field trips to local museums, Railroad Park, movies, swimming, skating, Desoto Caverns, and more. These summer experiences offer homeless and at-risk children access to opportunities for physical growth, cognitive development, socialization and integration that they would otherwise be denied.
SAIL students participate in scientifically research based assessment that measure Literacy, Mathematics, and Reading aptitude. At-risk students often miss important early reading instruction providing a foundation for continued success in school. We focus on phonemic awareness, the alphabetic principle, comprehension, exposure to wide genre of literature. Classrooms are print rich with books, magazines, multimedia software, and newspapers.
Last year, students gained one month in reading comprehension and two months in math ability. Summer is usually considered the summer slide when students are not focused on academics and lose grade level competencies if not engaged in academic enrichment activities.
The YWCA collaborates with dozens of organizations including Red Mountain Theater, Children’s Theater, Hand in Paw, The Civil Rights Institute, Southern Museum of Flight, The McWane Center, UAB School of Education and more to increase our capacity to provide the experiences that all children should have despite their family financial circumstances.
Funded by Birmingham, AL (July 2018)