Center awarded grant for summer

Published 4:41 pm Saturday, January 27, 2018

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

The McRae-Gaines Learning Center has been educating children in the Selma Community for 40 years. This year, the school has received a $5,000 grant from Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL).

John Deamer, director of development at McRae-Gaines Learning Center, said the SAIL program is a group of organizations that collectively gathers funds to support education during the summer months to prevent learning loss.

During the summer months, the children, ages 4-9, will learn more English and math skills. Deamer said if students are behind in English and math they, “historically,” never catch up to the other students.

“English and math are the pillars of a successful academic outcome. When these students get in the third or fourth grade they have to have a grasp on English especially, because most of the math subjects they take are English based,” Deamer said.

With this year being the 40th anniversary of the school’s opening, Deamer believes this grant came just in time to help McRae-Gaines educate more students.

“This is a critical grant for the school because of its continued history of providing a top-notch education for students who have often been forgotten,” Deamer said.

Sadie Moss, director of McRae-Gaines Learning Center, said summer learning loss is a greater disadvantage for low-income students.

“While all children lose up to two months of math skills during summer vacation, low-income students are at risk of losing an additional two months or more in reading achievement,” Moss said.

Moss said the early years of education are just as important as the later years. She believes that waiting until a child is in third or fourth grade to teach them the basics is too late.

“The earlier you reach those children the better it is. Early intervention is the best things that you could do for children,” Moss said.

Receiving this grant has helped the center double their enrollment this year.

“The increased funding we received in this grant will allow us to expand the program to upwards of 60 children,” she said.

“Our goal each year is to provide a quality, seven-week learning experience for the many, many children of our area who need this learning boost to more readily help them compete for a life of success.”

Enrollment information for children between the ages of four and nine can be obtained by contacting Moss at MGLC at (334) 872-8078.