YMCA Helps Children Maintain Academic Achievement During The Summer

YMCA Power Scholars prepare for an eventful day at Schiller Park. (c) 2018 Tamar Turner

Click play to learn about the YMCA’s Power Scholars Academy and how its impacting middle school children. 

Audio Transcript: Power Scholars Wrap_Turner

By Tamar Turner SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Even though school is out for the summer, the YMCA of Greater Syracuse is making sure its children don’t fall behind. The Power Scholars Academy program is designed to provide students with a free opportunity to improve their academic and social skills.

“We need to have high quality programs accessible to all in order to help even the playing field for educational purposes,” said Alicia Roberson, the YMCA’s Education Director. Roberson has noticed an achievement gap between those who can pay for access to resources and those who can’t.

Power Scholars Academy is a five-week program that focuses on improving math and literacy skills for rising third, fourth, and fifth graders. The students, or scholars as Roberson calls them work with certified teachers and teaching assistants all throughout the day.

“Anytime we can partner with somebody to help enrich our program, but keep our costs down that’s always beneficial,” said Roberson. Through partnerships with the Syracuse Parks and Recreation and Building Educated Leaders for Life, Power Scholars Academy is able to provide their children with hands-on experiences that they’ll never forget.

“Microsoft will come in and do coding. We have tennis pros from the Manlius Y come over and teach them tennis. We go to the zoo, so our enrichment blocks look a little different everyday,” said Fowler.

In a matter of three years, the Power Scholars program has expanded from one site to four, and increased its numbers from 20 to nearly 100.

Roberson said she hopes that the program will continue to expand throughout Syracuse because the need   is always there. She invites parents to register their children to get a head start on a bright, promising future.