Tag Archives: summer achievement gap

LUM 5th Quarter – Building Strong Children


Summer 2016



Dear Friend,

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.  2016-06-09 5thQuarter 027 (3)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 2016-06-09 5thQuarter 002 (3)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.


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5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

LUM 5th Quarter – Essential Skills Learned


Summer 2015



Dear Friend,

To succeed in school and life, children 1052428_564390920269127_1965859719_oneed ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. This is especially true during the summer months.

For many children, summer is a carefree, happy time when they experience family vacations, trips to museums, parks and libraries. But for others, when school doors close for the summer, educational opportunities cease – along with basic needs such as healthy meals and adequate adult supervision.

These are the children being reached right now through the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s 5th Quarter Summer Learning Retention Program.

Fifth Quarter is a day-long learning retention program that takes place throughout the summer months. Sixty low-income, elementary-aged children are enrolled. We employ fun-learning techniques to boost each child’s proficiency in reading, math, science and social studies. Our goal is that they be better-prepared to return to school in August.


Did you know…

  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
  • Low-income parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.

Each morning of LUM’s Fifth Quarter Program begins with a gathering session, nutritious snacks, and recreational reading.  Then it’s on to our educational pods in math, science and social studies. This year, we have introduced online learning in these subjects to our summer curriculum.


Fifth Quarter isn’t a traditional summer school. Often, our sessions are held in the city parkIMG_2451 or under a tree. The learning is hands-on with plenty of enthusiasm and encouragement offered by LUM’s Fifth Quarter teachers. There are weekly field trips to the library, Purdue, or other locations where the children learn and experience new things.

It will cost LUM $29,000 to offer 5th Quarter for ten weeks this summer. Included in this amount are four teachers, curriculum, online learning fees, program supplies, snacks, and transportation to field trips.


I hope you will consider helping us to cover these costs.

Your tax-deductible gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or more, will allow LUM to offer this remarkable opportunity to 60 low-income children this summer.

Won’t you join me in supporting LUM’s 5th Quarter Program? There is no better way to prepare an at-risk child for the coming school year or to narrow the achievement gap separating that child from future success.

Place your check in the mail or drop it off in our office today. Or, you may give online, click HERE.



PS – I would love to show you Fifth Quarter in action.  Just email me at jmicon@lumserve.org with a date between now and August 7 that you can stop by at 10:30 a.m. for a visit!