SWAG has been so happy to support our kids’ learning during July 2021. Summer Session was a success with food, fun, and field trips. In addition, SWAG for the first time ever held a Summer SOAR program. Summer SOAR provided extra academic support to students in the wake of a difficult school year. The kiddos in these programs at the SWAG Family Resource Center got to enjoy some outdoor time, too. Specifically, this month we installed new picnic tables that now live behind the building. And finally, we got all geared up for back-to-school with backpacks and school supplies for SWAG families. You can read more about the back-to-school event HERE!
The July 2021 Summer Session was a success
The SWAG kids attending Summer Session this month participated in a variety of fun learning activities. One of the highlights was a field trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History. There, they visited the butterflies and saw the new Survival of the Slowest special exhibit. Thank you so much to our partners at Partnership for Strong Families and the amazing staff at the SWAG Family Resource Center for making this program a success. We’re also very grateful for the Alachua County CAPP grant that provided funding for summer camp. And finally, we want to send out a huge thanks to Singleton Subways for providing lunch on field trip days. They have been a great community partner feeding our summer session kids for many years.
Summer SOAR provided extra academic support
Summer SOAR (Support Our Academic Readiness) is a program designed to offer extra supports to students who need it. These needs may arise from learning challenges or from the disruption COVID has caused in their academic routines. SWAG was able to provide funds to hire four education experts. Specifically, we hired a learning specialist, a 5th grade and kindergarten teacher, and a Speech-Language Pathologist. These experts provided targeted learning interventions to a group of nine students.
The elementary school children focused on basic literacy skills and retention of concepts covered during the school year. The middle and high school students participated in a program designed to help with executive function and strategies for learning across all classes. They also received literacy support. In addition to the instruction, SWAG provided snacks, dinners each Thursday. Also, we gave the students $20 gift cards at the end of the program for their dedication and hard work.
Our teachers and educational support team saw great progress with the kids and have identified some specific areas where SWAG can support these children during the school year. We will fund these follow-up programs through a private donation we received to target specific learning issues. Students’ parents also reported that the children made positive strides forward over the summer. For example, one parent reported that not only has she seen learning improvements in her child, but she also saw their self-esteem and confidence in themselves improve immensely since they began participating in the Summer SOAR program.
The Family Resource Center got new picnic tables
Our SWAG Board was so thrilled to be able to allocate funds for these picnic tables. Especially in these pandemic times, it is wonderful to have an outdoor space to do fun activities and share a meal together.