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2016 Feed Your Brain a Success!

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under School's Out News


School’s Out Washington has wrapped up another successful Feed Your Brain season! This past summer, we awarded 10 grants totaling $41,000, impacting more than 2,400 young people through summer literacy and meal programs (list of funded programs here).

Feed Your Brain works to end summer learning loss and summertime hunger by providing funding and support for summer literacy programs in rural Washington. As part of Feed Your Brain, participating children get at least two free meals during each day that their program meets and also receive four brand-new books for free to add to their home library!

We require all of our Feed Your Brain programs to administer an evaluation to measure change in reading skill level over the course of the summer. What these results show us is that summer programs make a difference in keeping kids on track and ready for school in the fall!  More than 95% of partcipating children either maintained or improved their reading skill level over the course of the summer.img_0765

Our partners at the Jefferson County YMCA, which has received Feed Your Brain funding for 4 years, wrote us, “One student was so excited to work through the alphabet that he would arrive each day and proudly and excitedly announce what letter the group was on that day.”

We again partnered with Page Ahead, a Washington State non-profit organization that provides new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk children. Page Ahead provided all of the books our grantees distributed to their kids, more than 4,000 books all told, including books in Spanish if the program requested them.

The programs were grateful for the books, to which they attributed much of the academic success and enjoyment of reading experienced by students. As the staff at the summer program in Grand Coulee, WA, wrote, talking-about-books“A big change I noticed is how into books our kids got. Receiving the books from Page Ahead really helped to change some of the kids from readers to book lovers. Books were going home and being brought back and the kids were really enjoying reading at school and at home.”

In addition to funding, SOWA provides Feed Your Brain grantees training and technical assistance to support them in providing quality services that positively impact youth.  This year, we focused on providing best practices in active learning so that youth are engaged in hands-on and experiential activities that look different than the school year. These summer programs are about supporting children with their academic growth, while having fun and creating lasting memories!

A special thanks to our generous funders who made Feed Your Brain possible this year: Discuren Charitable Foundation, Norcliffe Foundation, Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, Umpqua Bank Foundation, Pitney Bowes Foundation, BNSF Railway Foundation and many individual supporters!

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