Learning Loss

Learning shouldn’t stop when school’s out

Numerous studies point to summer as a time of significant learning loss, especially in the areas of reading, spelling and math. Camps offer educational activities but only to those who can afford them. Without additional summer learning opportunities, the average student actually loses one to three months of achievement.

And, as each summer passes, this gap in performance grows more pronounced. By the end of fifth grade, students from lower-income families are often reading at three grade levels behind their peers.

Whether during school release days or over the summer, programs at the Nellie Stone Johnson Beacons Center and the Harold Mezile North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center combat the opportunity gap through homework help, interactive lessons and healthy development/enrichment activities.

During Summer 2014, we provided 22,500 hours of environmental education and 11,250 hours of reading. We also served as a pilot site for the Rock ‘n’ Read bus, which offers interactive literacy training in the style of the popular Rock Band video games, all housed inside a brightly painted city bus.


The support of Genta Hayes, Alicia Johnson, and the other staff have provided opportunities of leadership and guidance. […] The Y provides a safe place to learn from your mistakes and grow as an individual [in a] creative and innovative space for learning. This is why I love coming to the Y every day—for the people and a good time!

from “Youth Voice” in the August 2014 My Brother’s Keeper newsletter