Last week marked our return to tutoring! We spent all summer preparing to go back to school – engaging partners, recruiting and training new volunteers, updating curriculum and anticipating another hugely successful year. On top of all this preparation for the 2014/2015 school year, we also offered a month long summer enrichment program to the students at Salvation Army Barton Center.
summer books
It’s a WRAP! (Writing, Reading, Art and Performance) kicked off July 1st. Thanks to funding from Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Lilly Endowment and the Sheila Fortune Foundation, we were able to offer a month of hands-on art and learning experiences for the children, grades K-12, living at Barton Center. This program helped combat summer learning loss, kept kids positively engaged and out of trouble, and on top of that it was a ton of fun!

It’s a WRAP! offered a creative learning environment where our kids got to create a diorama, an animated cartoon using the Toontastic app on the iPad and participate in a reader’s theatre facilitated by our project partner, Asante Children’s Theatre. Students were even able to learn about and play the African drums (check out a video here)! Each of these writing, art and performance activities stemmed from the African Folktales that served as the central theme of the program. Ages 5-7 read Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, ages 8-11 focused on Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain and ages 12 and up read The Princess Who Lost Her Hair: An Akamba Legend. Through the creation of art, cartoons and performance, each child came away with deeper critical thinking skills and reading comprehension, as well as increased confidence.

Check out some of the amazing things our kids created this summer.

Twenty children took part in this summer program with 100% of children reporting they enjoyed every aspect of this program and would like to participate again next summer. Our goal was that all the students would score at least an 80% on the comprehension assessment – and they did! Additionally, 89% of the students scored at least a 90% on the assessment and 40% of them got a perfect 100% of the questions correct! We love when our students get to have fun while improving their academic skills.

Thanks again to our funders and tutors who made this summer program possible!

Want to get more involved with tutoring and programs like It’s a WRAP!? Apply to tutor or sign up for our e-newsletter, Chalk Talk, to learn more about volunteering opportunities!