Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) is a collective community impact project that works to help students overcome summer learning loss. Junior League of Huntsville and other funders, our three local public school districts, The Schools Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, work collaboratively to improve student educational outcomes during the summer. Data shows that summer learning loss accounts for nearly two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap in reading. This achievement gap disproportionately impacts low-income students, in part due to the “opportunity gap” with regard to access to summer high quality enrichment opportunities. Participation in an effective summer learning program can not only reverse this learning loss and yield learning gains instead, but it can also benefit a student for at least two years afterwards. SAIL acknowledges a community problem, advances a shared vision, and offers a collaborative solution to the issue of summer learning loss for many local students. Students benefit from SAIL by achieving learning gains, not losses, during the summer; participating in fun enrichment activities; and receiving enhanced opportunities for student success.
The Schools Foundation and the Greater Huntsville Community Foundation partnered to provide backbone support for this collective impact project. Approximately 200 deserving students received engaging and high quality instruction at the three SAIL pilot program sites for summer 2017 which include the following:
- Heart of the Valley YMCA’s BELL Power Scholars Academy and Y Readers Programs, in collaboration with The C.A.R.E. Center, located at Madison County Elementary School
- Madison City School’s English Learner SAIL Program, in collaboration with Better Basics, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Athens State University, located at Madison Elementary School
- Village of Promise’s Freedom School, in collaboration with Huntsville City Schools, located at Highlands Elementary School