United Way of the Southern Tier supports children's summer literacy program

July 16, 2020:

United Way of the Southern Tier is proud to again support a summer literacy program for Steuben County children who will enter kindergarten this fall. 

The Kids on Track Steuben Summer Literacy Enrichment Program will provide virtual classroom instruction and support to 45 children over five weeks in July and August. The program, provided by Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Head Start, is aimed at 4-year-olds from socio-economically challenged backgrounds who are transitioning from Head Start to kindergarten, and who may otherwise be unable to participate in summer education or enrichment opportunities.

The program is designed to help participating children avoid the learning loss that can occur without ongoing educational supports over the summer months.  In summer 2019, 30 children took part in the Literacy Enrichment pilot program with impressive results — 60% maintained their overall learning from the previous school year, while 40% increased their overall learning, setting them on a path to success as they returned to school in the fall. 

United Way of the Southern Tier has joined forces with the Triangle Fund to support this educational effort. Together, in partnership with Pro Action Head Start (a partner of Kids on Track Steuben), they seek to impact a greater number of children this year. United Way has awarded a $9,983 grant to the program, doubling its commitment from 2019, and the Triangle Fund has renewed its $5,000 support to the program.  

United Way of the Southern Tier, through its Southern Tier Kids on Track initiative, focuses on ensuring all children enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Strategic activities supporting this goal include: Engaging parents as partners in their child’s development and well-being; supporting children and families through summer learning opportunities, and expanding access to quality, affordable childcare.

“Head Start shares a commitment to Kids on Track strategies, including support for summer learning retention,” said Kellie Lockwood, director of Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Head Start. “We are honored to have this important role in serving 45 children this summer, who certainly will benefit from maintaining close connection with a teacher and from the learning materials we will provide.”

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