Make Summer Count
Research shows that students lose ground over the summer months. And students from families with low incomes lose, on average, two months or more in reading during the break. For many of these students, they are already behind when they first come to school. Even if they can catch up during the school year, the lack of learning opportunities in the summer makes that gap even wider. What is most alarming is that by the end of 5th grade, these children are nearly three grade equivalents behind more affluent peers in reading.
Reading Buddies is a community-based intervention program for elementary school age children who are reading below grade level. It is offered during the summer, at no charge to qualifying families. RRSC recruits volunteer tutors who learn to use Words Their Way, a curriculum shown to be effective with struggling readers. The training of supervisors, coaches and volunteers is guided by ISU Professor Dr. Donald Bear, a renowned expert in reading interventions.
Summer Reading Buddies sites are located throughout Ames to ensure that families living in different areas of the city have access to this program.
Summer is also a time when families have a harder time making their budgets work because their food costs increase so dramatically. To make matters worse, the food that is available to them for quick and easy preparation may not be the healthiest choice in most cases. Together, with other community partners including the United Way of Story County, the Boys and Girls Club of Story County, the Ames and Nevada Public Libraries, and YSS, RRSC serves as a planning partner for overall Summer Enrichment programs in Ames and Nevada.
Little Cyclone Summer Enrichment is offered for Ames students identified by the school district as being at-risk for summer slide and participate in all day tutoring and enrichment at the Ames Middle School. This program runs June through mid-July.
Little Cubs Summer Enrichment is offered for Nevada students participating in their summer tutoring and enrichment programs at Central Elementary School. This program runs mid June through the end of July.
Enrichment activities include learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, reading, engineering, math and arts. Both programs rely heavily on volunteers to provide meals and learning experiences.