A Letter from LUM Executive Director – Joe Micon
When elementary students return to school in August, many of them — especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds — will be starting the academic year with achievement levels lower than where they were at the beginning of their summer break.
This phenomenon, often referred to as summer learning loss, summer setback, or summer slide, has been a long-time concern for us at LUM. If quality education is a child’s ticket out of a life of poverty, too many of those we serve are being left behind at the station. Educational research offers a “faucet theory” for why lower-income students lose learning in math, science and reading over the summer. According to the theory, the “resource faucet” is on for all students during the school year, enabling all students to make learning gains.
Over the summer however, the flow of resources slows to a trickle for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their more affluent peers continue to have access to financial and human capital, such as parental education and involvement, which enables them to continue to learn. That’s why the Lafayette Urban Ministry has been so committed to our 5th Quarter Summer Learning Retention Program. The program is held Monday through Friday, from June 1st through August 10th, at Central Presbyterian Church’s education building in downtown Lafayette. This summer, LUM has enrolled more than 50 children.
Each day begins with a nutritious snack, recreational reading and a fun gathering session for our students, teachers and volunteers. Then it is on to learning groups in math, science, social studies and language arts. Each subject is taught through a combination of classroom and online study. There are weekly field trips to the public library, Purdue University and other locations where our students learn and experience new things. We have scheduled a full summer of engaging speakers and enrichment activities that make learning at 5th Quarter fun.
Last week, we combined reading about Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner with audio samples of their compositions (pictured above). In partnership with Purdue Extension, our students have planted and are tending a summer flower and vegetable garden. This year, the LUM 5th Quarter staff has partnered with faculty and students from the Purdue College of Education to enhance our curricula and boost the quality of our students’ learning.
I am so pleased with the quality of the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program. I am encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from the children’s parents and classroom teachers. More than anything else, I am proud of the accomplishments of our 5th Quarter students….
- Like 8 year-old Isaiah, whose mom is incarcerated this summer serving an addiction-related sentence. He is excelling in multiplication.
- Like Crystal & Jeremy who live with their grandma. She works each weekday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a maid for a Lafayette hotel just to make ends meet. They enjoy D.E.A.R. time – Drop Everything and Read!
- Like 9 year-old Da’Ron who was able to pass his ISTEP re-test because of remediation that took place at LUM 5th Quarter.
It is costing LUM $31,416 to operate 5th Quarter this summer. Included in that amount are four teachers, our online learning software, program supplies, snacks and transportation to field trips. I am hoping you will join with me in helping to offset those costs.
Please, won’t you consider a generous gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, or more, to 5th Quarter? Your support will help LUM to continue to offer this remarkable program that has proven so effective in reversing the summer learning slide for vulnerable children.
Give a child a ticket to a brighter future. Join me today in making a generous gift to the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program.
PS: Interested in viewing 5th Quarter in action? Call me anytime prior to July 31 to arrange a visit (765-423-2691).