Boys & Girls Club program reinforces learning during the summer

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A local organization is pushing learning, during the summer.

The Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis is now offering educational programs children can take during their summer break. Every club offers educational programs, ranging from reading, math, and science for members ages 5 to 18.

Organizers want to reinforce learning, during a time of year when children are on vacation, in order to make sure they do not forget what they learned during the previous school year.

“The point of what we are trying to do (is to make) sure that not only do our kids learn over the summer, but they don’t lose any information. And, in a lot of cases, we want to make sure that they’re ahead when they get back to school,” said Robert Marshall, Director at the Lilly Unit for the Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis.

The Lilly Unit offers two educational programs from June 18-July 25. One program, sponsored by the United Way of Central Indiana, is ReadUp.

“They are working on reading, fluency, comprehension, and just enjoying reading,” said Mackenzie Cain, Education Director at the Lilly Unit.

Cain said the program also helps their members with the ISTEP test.

“During our summer enrichment program, we put a strong focus on education because kids that are not getting the strong education, normally, have a larger gap of summer learning loss,” Cain said.

The second program is Marian University’s Summer Learning Institute. It focuses on math.

“During the school year, we receive report cards from our kids. We track the progress of our kids and so come summer time, we have a decent idea of the kids that need to be given some additional academic assistance,” Marshall said.

One member, 10-year-old Mariah, said ReadUp helped her pass third grade. She will start fifth grade this school year. She said she hopes the program helps other children.

“If they’re failing a good class or something, I just hope that it helps them (to) have growth for them to pass that class,” Mariah said.

Mariah appreciates the time the volunteers spent to work with her. She is enrolled in Marian University’s Summer Learning Institute.

“It made me really happy. It felt like it made me special, really special because they took time out of their day to help me pass third grade,” Mariah said.