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F’ville pilots nat’l BGCA program

F’ville pilots nat’l BGCA program

The Brain Gain curriculum was rolled out by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sequoias last month.

The Tulare County-based club is one 250 out of 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide chosen to pilot this K-12th grade program. Of the 250, BGC of the Sequoias is among 26 taking part in pre and post assessments. Additionally the Club site at the Farmersville Community Center, which is hosting K-3 Brain Gain for 3.5 hours daily, and introducing Brain Gain activities in the afternoon for older kids, is one of six which will be receiving a site visit from national B&GCA in Atlanta and from the statistic gathering firm out of New York City.

Summer time for low income Farmersville early elementary students is typically not a time for enriching activities. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have clearly shown that over summer time, “low income youth suffer significantly from a loss of academic skills…”. If you couple this loss with the obstacles faced by second language learners, migrant children, and those whose lives are disrupted by a multitude of social and emotional issues, you end up with youngsters not having adequate literacy skills by end of third grade. This negative benchmark all too frequently marks the beginning of a journey towards dropping out of school.

The Summer Brain Gain program can prevent summer learning loss by extending learning throughout the summer. The program includes weekly thematic modules that include activities that build to a final, culminating project or event. The modules are based on Project Based Learning. Young people work together in groups to explore ideas, learn through fun projects, express themselves with a variety of art activities all while building their academic skills.

Throughout the program, young people are building literacy, research, math, and technology skills and having fun at the same time. Modules are available at elementary, middle and high school levels. The high school modules are developed to assist young people with college and career preparation as well as entrepreneurial skill-building.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias, in with support from Farmersville Unified School District (FUSD), is presenting an 8 week summer enrichment program for struggling and low achieving kinder, first, second, and third graders. The goal is to provide a print rich environment with motivating literacy activities that are intertwined throughout the 3 ½ hour summer camp.

Each week a Boys & Girls Clubs of America nationally developed project-based curriculum called Brain Gain will be presented in the following format: an overarching theme; a challenge; a mix of individual and small group, or team activities; social-emotional or team building exercises; arts, English Language Arts; writing, science, and math activities; outdoor connections; a final product or culminating event to which the public and families will be invited and involved.

Throughout the summer a READATHON CHALLENGE will be in place. The goal for each child is to read, or be read to, two books each day. Brain Gain staff will develop inviting posters and charts to promote progress and motivation. Incentives will include READ FOR LIFE (one of our contributing supporters) trade books as well as the traditional treasure chest of age-appropriate incentives. The families and the children will be asked to reread the books at home and to include other children in the home.

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