Kids Learn Through Summer Fun!
As the beginning of the school year looms, much to the chagrin of my teacher wife - and students too numerous to count - I thought it might be a good time to explore the data we have from after-school and summer programming funded by the Butler County United Way:
♦ An unduplicated count of over 400 children have attended after-school and summer programs at Hamilton Living Water Ministries this year.
♦ Over 50 teens have been involved in special programming at the YMCA.
♦ Total membership at the Boys and Girls Club stands at 640, with more than 80 children attending each day in the summer, and more than 50 children attending after school - and 80% of those participating in the after-school program maintain an A/B average.
♦ 111 children have been involved in after-school programming at the YWCA.
Altogether, that's over 1,200 children in after-school and summer programming supported by the Butler County United Way, in addition to those participating in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, for whom data is incomplete.
These programs are as diverse as the children who participate, focusing on reading, nutrition, health and fitness, character development, music and the arts. Older participants at the YWCA chose a community project to complete and selected bullying as their focus this year. Children at Living Water have a summer garden where they grow vegetables - and then learn how to prepare it! Boys and Girls Club participants have come together to establish a very talented drum corps, in addition to homework assistance and additional arts and music opportunities. Without exception, the programming promotes school success, personal safety, self-respect and respect for others.
Perhaps I was the exception in my school days, but I actually recall thinking - usually around mid-July - that summer was too long and boring, and I couldn't wait to get back to school. If I had had these kinds of programs available to me in those days, I may have thought otherwise.
My congratulations go out to all of our partner agencies who offer children's programs throughout the year, and to the children who take advantage of these opportunities to have fun while learning important life lessons!