Tag: camp fire

Spring Play To Learn Classes Graduate

As our Play To Learn program runs on a school year schedule, we just wrapped up our spring semester and are launching our summer groups with about 30 families participating. This year so far, a total of 204 families graduated from Play To Learn or an extension class through YMCA, which is a combination of Play To Learn and YMCA’s Early Learning Readiness program. Through Play To Learn, not only did young children leave with new skills but parents learned how to foster their child’s optimal development at home. Parents and children attended classes together with the following themes: • Social skills • Gross motor skills • Fine motor skills • Language Development • Emotional regulation skills • Geometry • Numeracy • Emerging Literacy “Honestly, this program did help my daughter a lot. My children are naturally very shy and now my daughter is less introverted and more social. I really did see a huge change in my daughter and I highly recommend the class. The reason I never missed a class is because I could tell my daughter loved being there and benefited greatly.” –Maria R. Attendees also learned digital literacy skills by practicing various tasks and using the pre-loaded educational apps on the Samsung tablets provided by United Way for Greater Austin. It is important to bridge the “digital divide” between low-income families and their more affluent peers now more than ever. Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for individuals to complete homework, fill […]

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Mendez Summer Program Served 60 Students

This summer, students from Mendez Middle School pitched tents, made films, dissected frogs and went on service field trips to supplement their school-year learning and learn new skills. After running a successful summer program at Decker Middle School last year, United Way for Greater Austin made an additional investment in summer learning at Mendez Middle School in Dove Springs to contribute to an academically-engaged and adventure-filled summer experience for more than 60 middle school students. Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area, 21st Century ACE Austin and a cohort of energetic and creative Mendez teachers worked side by side to lead students in projects that bolstered school-year learning and introduced new concepts and activities. In reading classes, students read a community novel about making tough choices, which they discussed enthusiastically in literature circles. This provided a safe space to discuss challenges such as social choices, gangs and family life, while also encouraging students to practice reading aloud and helping one another with word comprehension. In math class, students set out to find price estimates for a house, a car and an education, and then tied budgeting skills and internet research skills with their own, unique life ambitions to correspond to the importance of planning for the future. Afternoons allowed students the chance to build new friendships and exit their comfort zones by tackling projects like making their own films, learning about aviation, building a campsite in a survival scenario and much more. Vendors including Camp Fire, Phoenix Arising, Austin […]

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