The Critical Need:
Summer learning loss is a serious issue for low-income students, who often lose nearly 2 months of grade level equivalency in math and reading over the summer. Over half of the achievement gap between lower-income and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Many of these same students are also at an increased risk for gaining unhealthy weight over the summer due to limited access to nutritional food.
Kid Power's 5-week Summer Leadership Academy is a free summer program in which students complete advanced academic courses designed to overcome summer learning loss and participate in a variety of innovative and exploratory enrichment, service-learning, and recreational activities.
The Academy provides students with opportunities to acquire workforce development skills such as public speaking, marketing, financial literacy, goal-setting, and technology use through elective classes and long-term projects.
Kid Power alumni serve as Junior Counselors through the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
- In 2015, Kid Power served over 225 elementary and middle school students from neighborhoods throughout the city, and engaged approximately 100 community volunteers.
- Students demonstrated a 12% gain on their academic assessment focusing on reading comprehension and logic skills and a 13% gain on their nutritional and environmental science assessment.
- Students also demonstrated significant growth in their public speaking, self- confidence, and the belief that they will attend college.
- Middle school students successfully launched their own hot sauce business using peppers from their gardens. They created a business and marketing plan, cooked and bottled their hot sauce, and sold it at local markets. They donated the proceeds to charities of their choosing.