Updated Wednesday, April 26th 2017: A Washington Heights non-profit fills the summer gap with great enrichment and learning activities for inner city kids.
New York, New York (April 26th, 2017) – Operation Exodus announces “Do Something,” a summer enrichment program that will empower 120 inner city youth to learn, grow, and serve their neighbors in Washington Heights.
Dr. Mark Gonzalez, new CEO at the organization, is seeking partners to help make it a great summer of learning and serving others.
The day camp is aimed at engaging youth who would otherwise spend too many hours unsupervised, or being unproductive in their neighborhood.
“Do Something,” is six weeks of summer enrichment and instruction aimed at eliminating “summer slide,” the well-documented loss of skills and learning known to plague children growing up in low-income homes. Also referred to as “summer learning loss,” kids and teens not involved in summer programs can lose over two months of math and literacy skills. Over consecutive summers, a lack of participation in structured programs can result in a teen that is four times as likely to drop out of high school.
According to Dr. Gonzalez, “Two months can impact a young person’s life in a meaningful way, or cause a setback that is difficult to recover from. Operation Exodus works hard all summer to help youth be ready to hit the ground running when they get back to school.”
This summer’s programs are about “learning by doing.” Hands-on activities and creative lesson times will evolve based on student input, but building math and literacy skills are of primary importance. Youth will also be logging plenty of independent reading hours. The “Do Something,” summer enrichment program is six weeks, each with its own theme: Learn, Grow, Change, Create, Conquer and Care.
During GROW week, for example, participants will research container gardening at our local library, (literacy) study light levels and soil PH (science). They’ll also make a visit to the New York Botanical Garden to learn about plants. Their week will culminate in using math to budget, shop for, and create a beautification project for a neighborhood church. This collaborative effort will also promote social emotional skills.
“In Washington Heights, 41% of Latino families are living at the threshold of poverty, but they are not poor, in spirit or potential. The “Do Something Summer” will empower them, and show others in our community all that our youth have to offer,” says Gonzalez
There are three ways people can get involved in the “Do Something” Summer program. Volunteers are needed to help coordinate activities, read with kids, or host student volunteer teams. Individuals who are unable to volunteer are being encouraged to sponsor a student for the six-week program. Corporations and community partners can invest by sponsoring portions of the “Do Something,” summer, and can do so by reaching out via the organization’s web site.
The “Do Something,” summer enrichment program runs from July 5th to August 11th and is available to students Pre-K through 8th grade, and is subsidized or free for local residents in Washington Heights who qualify.
Media and Interview Requests Contact:
Director of Communications, Development
Julie [at} operationexodus.org
Operation Exodus serves 200+ inner city kids each year, offering afterschool tutoring, mentoring and enrichment during the school year. Year-round programming is capped by this summer achievement camp, which prepares them for the next grade level, so they are ahead, not behind.
Dr. Gonzalez is an experienced youth development executive with a track record for developing aspiring Latino youth into college students and leaders. He got his Ph.D. from the Fordham University School of Education and also holds a Masters degree in Educational Psychology, a Masters in Educational Supervision and Administration, and a Bachelors degree in Public Administration.