“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.”
In her 2016 book, “The Rest of the Story,” author Sarah Dessen captures the spirit of summer precisely. It is that special season where everything is on pause, yet a time of possibility and promise. Here at Lafayette Urban Ministry, summer is the season for 5th Quarter.
The LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program is an academic learning program that helps low-income children retain and grow their knowledge throughout the summer months when school is no longer in session.
According to the Measures of Academic Progress tests, summer learning loss is a serious reality. On average, children lose about a month of reading and math skills during their first summer vacation. During their second summer vacation, they lose three full months of skills in reading and math.
The LUM 5th Quarter program offers low-income children the chance to catch up. The program is in session every day throughout the summer months at the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center. This summer, 45 children are enrolled.
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, and to other locations where our students see and experience new things.
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 quality of the LUM 5th Quarter 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 progress of our 5th Quarter students.
It is costing LUM $28,000 to operate 5th Quarter this summer. Included in this amount are four teachers, our online learning expenses, program supplies, snacks, and transportation for field trips.
Parents who can afford to contribute to the cost of their child’s participation in 5th Quarter, even minimally, are expected to do so. But almost one-third of the children enrolled are provided full summer scholarships. I am hoping you will join me in offsetting these 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 continue to offer this remarkable program that has proven so effective in advancing the academic progress of low-income children in our community.
The LUM 5th Quarter is in session for ten weeks this summer, from late May through early August. Please help us to make these a collection of weeks where, in the words of author Sarah Dessen, “anything is possible.” Join me in sharing a generous gift to the 2019 LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program.
P.S. Mail or drop off your check to the LUM Office, or give online at lumserve.org/donate