Famed abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglas once said
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
It is a sentiment that we share here at the Lafayette Urban Ministry because while we provide many wonderful services for adults, it is our work with young people that gives us the most hope for the future.
This summer, the Lafayette Urban Ministry has convened our sixth year of 5th Quarter. More than forty at-risk children are enrolled in this 11-week program that employs fun-learning and online study to boost the children’s academic performance in math, reading, science and social studies.
Research in the area of elementary education shows that as much as 60% of the academic achievement gap separating low-income children from their more affluent peers can be traced to differential learning opportunities during the summer months.
Dull summers take a steep toll on the academic advancement of low-income children.
Lacking access to summer camps, family vacations, museums and libraries, they lose a significant amount of what they learned during the previous school year. Researchers refer to this as the “summer slide.” By the time the bell rings on another school year, many low-income children have fallen weeks, if not months, behind.
Each morning, after a gathering time, LUM’s 5th Quarter students break into smaller educational pods where they are taught and guided using IXL, the same online learning platform used by the Lafayette School Corporation while school is in session.
Students can be seen meeting with their teachers at Centennial Park or just outside the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center under a tree. The learning is hands-on and experiential. LUM provides nutritious snacks and lunch for each child. There are frequent visits to the downtown public library, educational field trips and swim time at the Vinton Pool.
But this doesn’t mean we aren’t seriously focused on academics…
Last year’s 5th Quarter program students showed an average gain of 41% in computations with whole numbers and decimals and 12.9% gain in vocabulary and concept development when compared to a control group of low-income students who did not participate in the program.
I am so pleased with the work of last year’s 5th Quarter teaching staff. I am encouraged by the positive feedback LUM has received from the children’s parents and classroom teachers. More than anything else I am proud of the accomplishments of our 5th Quarter students.
It will cost almost $36,000 for LUM to operate 5th Quarter this summer. Included in that cost are 4 teachers, the IXL online learning program, program supplies, snacks and transportation to field trips. I hope you will join me in sharing a generous contribution so that LUM’s 5th Quarter Program can continue.
Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or more, will help LUM continue to offer this program that has shown such remarkable results.
Frederick Douglas is also well-known for saying,
“knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
At LUM we know that successful learning at an early age is the best opportunity a child can ever have to escape a lifetime of poverty.
Please, won’t you join me in supporting LUM’s 5th Quarter program? Place your check in the mail or drop it off in our office today. Or, you may give online, click HERE.
PS – You are invited to observe 5th Quarter first hand. Call me to arrange a visit any weekday between 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. prior to August 5th.