Foundation trying to help end summer slide

Published 1:18 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2016

By Samantha Bolden
The Selma Times-Journal

The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) hopes to encourage children to avoid summer learning loss.

BBCF was awarded $39,500 to fund Thursday’s National Summer Learning Day, as a way to help  students refrain from “the summer slide.”

Organizations who granted funding to the foundation include the Alabama Power Foundation, the Caring Foundation, Daniel Foundation and the Goodrich Foundation.

According to the Summer Learning official website, the summer slide is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and often contributes to the high school dropout rates.

The summer initiative will be held at three different sites in the Black Belt region.

To curb the summer slide, BBCF will partner with BAMA Kids in Wilcox County, McRae Learning Center in Dallas County and the Theo Ratliff Center in Marengo County.

BAMA Kids is the only group scheduled to come to Selma for the learning day on Thursday. The site plans to give their students a tour of  the National Voting Rights Museum at 9:30 a.m. on that day.

“Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains,” said BBCF President Felecia Lucky in a press release. “Most of the reading gap between lower-and-higher-income youth is due to unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.”

An inaugural event, BBCF hopes to make this a yearly event for students. The learning day is mainly geared toward students in grades K-6.

In the learning programs, students will learn basic school subjects such as reading, math and other curriculums that are taught in school.

Lucky said the students will learn different types of subjects in an enjoyable way in order for them to be more engaged.

“We hope that people will be moved by what they see, and the fact that we’re doing programs that are elevating their children’s way of learning,” Lucky said.

For more information on the summer learning day, contact Lucky at (334) 874-1126.