Preliminary outcomes for the Summer Advantage Program in the Roaring Fork Valley School District

The federal grant also required independent research by a firm chosen by the federal government and MHUW. APA Consulting not only found that our students moved from the 35 percentile to the 49 percentile, advancing 14% in just 5-weeks, they also concluded that our students are beginning the fall school year 1.8 months ahead of where they finished in the spring. Usually low-income kids forget 2-3 months of what they learned in the school year during the long summer break. Summer Advantage not only prevented “summer slide” it dramatically moved students forward. APA says our outcomes nearly double the results of any other documented summer program in the country.

 


 

Programs Summit 54 Supports

Summer AdvantageCollege TrackRocky Mountain Prep
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We believe that if we provide rigorous academic programming and an array of enrichment activities during the summer months of the primary and middle school years, then children will show significant academic gains in reading and math, improve their self-esteem, and aspire to be leaders in their families, communities, nation, and world.
College Track is a national college completion nonprofit that empowers students from under served communities to reach their dream of a college degreeThe mission of Rocky Mountain Prep, a public charter school network with schools in southeast and southwest Denver, is to educate students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8 with the rigorous academic preparation, character development and individualized support necessary to succeed in a four-year college and life.

 

Funding For Summer Advantage

With the Colorado Child Care Contribution Credit, the net cost to a Summit 54 donor can be less than 6% of the total donation! So, in essence, we’re asking you to please consider allocating your tax dollars to at-risk kids in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Independent research demonstrated that the Summit 54 sponsored Summer Advantage program in the RFV advanced student performance 14 percent, moving 600 K-4th grade students from the 35% to the 49% in just five weeks! This is nearly DOUBLE the outcome of any other documented summer program in the country!

We would like to continue this highly successful program in partnership with the Roaring Fork School District. However, the federal grant that provided matching funds during the past five years is no longer available. Thus, for the highly successful program to continue in the Roaring Fork Valley, Summit 54 needs to raise double the money each year to make up the lost grant funds.

The cost of the program is only $52/day/student and serves 600+ low-income, at-risk students. Without Summer Advantage these students would be left at home all summer, watching television or playing video games, while their parents work. National statistics indicate that low income children forget 2-3 months more during the summer than their middle-income peers. Did you know that approximately HALF of all Roaring Fork School District students are low income, receiving free or reduced price lunch? These students are the future work force for our Valley. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true in early education, as it is far more economical to start children off with a strong educational foundation than to later provide remedial services.

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Summit 54 Overview

The federal grant we received six years ago came through the Social Innovation Fund, a government program that provides regional grants to entities such as Mile High United Way (MHUW). Those entities must match and federal dollars and then allow organizations such as ours to apply for sub-grants. In our case, 33 charities applied to MHUW and 11 sub-grants were awarded. Ours was the only application accepted on the Western Slope. Each sub-grantee had to match the funds received through MHUW, thus the federal dollars were tripled prior to going to the recipients. The grant was an “early literacy grant” focused on improving Colorado students’ 3rd grade literacy rates. As you probably already know, the focus in Kindergarten through 3rd grade is teaching children to read. However, beginning in 4th grade, 50% of the material students must learn is given to them in a written format. If a child is not at grade level when entering 4th grade, it is very difficult for her to succeed in history, social studies, science and even math if she cannot understand her text books or read the questions on tests.

The federal grant also required independent research by a firm chosen by the federal government and MHUW. APA Consulting not only found that our students moved from the 35 percentile to the 49 percentile, advancing 14% in just 5-weeks, they also concluded that our students are beginning the fall school year 1.8 months ahead of where they finished in the spring. Usually low-income kids forget 2-3 months of what they learned in the school year during the long summer break. Summer Advantage not only prevented “summer slide” it dramatically moved students forward. APA says our outcomes are better than any other documented summer program in the country. They also told us that their preliminary findings (they are not yet finished with their final report) is that Summer Advantage may have out preformed all other SIF sub-grantees in the State, including year-round literacy intervention programs!

In addition to bringing Summer Advantage to the Roaring Fork Valley, Summit 54 also brought another national program called College Track to Colorado. Initially, we wanted to bring College Track to the Roaring Fork Valley but the then superintendent didn’t want a second college preparatory program offered in the District because she “didn’t want College Track to compete with Pre-Collegiate.” Thus shot down, we sponsored the program in the Aurora school district where it is thriving. As an example, 52 or our 54 high school graduates last spring were accepted into four-year universities! We not only get these high-risk students through high school and into universities, we also make sure they have funding for all four years of college, and College Track provides academic and emotional support to the students while they are in college! College Track has now expanded into the Denver Public School system.

Enclosed are the links to the Social Innovation Fund and the national organization of Summer Advantage USA and College Track.

Thus, another important side benefit of Summer Advantage is that our recruitment of “mission driven teachers” throughout Colorado helps the District recruit new talent and it provides leadership opportunities for District personnel. Summer Advantage also provides a lot of professional development for teachers, as well as parent engagement.

Summit 54 Colorado Educational Non Profit