Recently a mom poked her head into my office to share her worry and concern over her eight-year-old daughter’s ISTEP score in reading. “Unless she does significantly better on her re-test in June, the school has said they will have to hold her back.”
Mom was frustrated that her 60 hours per week, swing-shift schedule keeps her from spending as much time supervising her daughter’s homework as she would like. She knew that having to repeat a grade could have a significant social and emotional impact on her daughter as well.
“Is there anything LUM can do to help?”
As it just so happened, the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program was about to begin for the summer. We enrolled her daughter and immediately rolled up our sleeves. Everyday while mom was at work, her daughter came to LUM to learn.
We were able to enlist the help of two dedicated volunteers who spent hour after hour with the girl to help her read book after book. As the days passed, you could literally hear the child’s vocabulary improve and see the growth in her reading comprehension. More than anything, you could feel the girl’s pride and confidence in her growing accomplishment.
The LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program is held Monday through Friday, during the summer months, in the First Christian Church education building in downtown Lafayette. This summer we have 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 in math, science and social studies. Each of these subjects is taught through a combination of classroom and online study. There are weekly field trips to the public library, Purdue University, or to other locations where our students learn and experience new things.
Our pre- and post-testing indicates that the LUM 5th Quarter students retain more of the knowledge they learned in school and are better-prepared to enter the next grade level in August when compared to a control group of children who did not participate in our program!
I am so pleased with the work of the LUM 5th Quarter teaching staff and volunteers. 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 LUM $29,000 to operate 5th Quarter this summer. Included in that cost are four teachers, our online learning software, program supplies, snacks and transportation to field trips.
While 5th Quarter parents do contribute a small weekly fee for their children to attend, in order to keep the program affordable for those who need it most, Lafayette Urban Ministry must heavily subsidize the program’s costs.
That’s why I hope you will join me in sharing a generous contribution so that the LUM 5th Quarter Program can continue. Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, or more, will help LUM to continue to offer this program that has shown such remarkable results in the lives of at-risk children.
Just last week, our eight-year old reader’s mom stopped in to see me again. She shared the wonderful news that her daughter had indeed passed her ISTEP re-test in reading – by 50 points! You could feel the pride and hear the relief in her voice.
“The 5th Quarter teachers and volunteers have been such a Godsend,” she said. “They have given my daughter the gift of a brighter future. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for all that LUM has done for her.”
Please, won’t you give a child the gift of a brighter future? Place your check in the enclosed envelope and mail it today. If you prefer, you can give online at www.lumserve.org.
PS: Interested in viewing 5th Quarter in action? Call me anytime prior to July 31 to arrange a visit (765-423-2691).