"Making Memories That Last A Lifetime"

July 15, 2014

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

For many kids the thought of spending the summer beach side along the sands of the Rehoboth or reuniting with their long lost pen-pals at Camp Arrowhead are merely stories they read off the pages of their favorite adventure book. While the traditional summer break from school should be met with family vacations to Disney World, weekend bonfires and afternoon's paddle boating downstream at Lum's Pond, many youth will return to school from summer with not only lackluster adventures than that of Finn or Sawyer, but on average one month behind academically than where they left off the Spring before.

Research shows that summer learning loss is far greater among low-income students (especially in the areas of reading and math) who do not have access to traditional educational resources or positive behavior development over the course of the summer months.  In fact, it is a huge factor to the academic achievement gap that exists between low-income students and their higher-income peers that can begin as early as kindergarten.  On average, they will return from  summer having lost two months of reading achievement.

That's why it is essential for all of our children to be enrolled in summer learning programs that marry the traditional summer camp experience with core academic learning.  Summer programs have the ability to make summer count by helping youth create better outcomes for themselves both academically and with overall life decisions by being continually exposed to learning opportunities and new life experiences in a structured environment throughout the summer months all while having fun!

This summer United Way of Delaware has invested more than $60,000 into 14 summer programs serving more than 1,000 youth throughout areas like Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown, to ensure our at-promise youth get a chance to become their very own Huckleberry Finn's and Tom Sawyer's.  This summer they will star as the leading character of  a summer adventure taken place at the local Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware, Latin American Community Center, or Christina Cultural Arts Center to name a few.  We are partnering with Teach for America's Delaware Summer 2014 Community Learning Collaborative and invested an additional $25,000 to ensure the curriculum used, lessons taught and high level of engagement at a core group of summer programs are more deliberate, cohesive and impactful to ensure our rising stars are prepared for school this fall across the board.

Our children are our greatest assets.  The collective work that we are doing in the community could not happen without the continual support from people like you.  Together, we are developing greater opportunities for our children's future to ensure they have a chance to not only excel academically, but succeed in life.  And for that, we thank you.

Warm Regards,

President and Chief Executive Officer



President and CEO