Summer is a critical time for children, and the absence of structured activities and resources can significantly impact their growth and development. In underserved communities, where access to educational and recreational opportunities may be limited, low-cost youth summer programming becomes a lifeline.
MAM Summer Academy was created as an outreach program in 2007, designed to serve the youth who participate in MAM programs throughout the year. In its first summer, approximately 50 sixth and seventh grade boys attended the camp. Now the program has evolved to welcome more than 150 rising third through eighth graders. This low-cost initiative provides a safe and nurturing space for children, offering six weeks of structured programming.
MAM recognizes the detrimental effects of the “summer slide” on students’ educational progress. To combat this, we integrate academic enrichment in math, science, and reading into our curriculum. MAM ensures that each child’s progress is tracked effectively by using pre- and post-assessments. By identifying areas of struggle, MAM coaches can provide targeted support and establish achievable goals for students, especially those who are several grade levels behind.
A unique feature of the program is a point-based reward system that allows children to visit the MAM bookstore. Here, they can shop for take-home books at their reading level, along with stylish notebooks, pens, bookmarks, and other materials that stimulate imagination and creativity. By encouraging reading and ownership of books, MAM empowers children to cultivate a love for learning that extends beyond the summer months.
In addition to academic enrichment, MAM Summer Academy incorporates a range of activities, including Bible studies, art, physical education, games, and sports. This well-rounded approach fosters personal growth, creativity, and physical well-being. Furthermore, weekly field trips expose the participants to new places, expanding their horizons and opening doors to previously unexplored opportunities.
What truly sets MAM’s Summer Academy apart is the unwavering dedication and love demonstrated by its coaches. Each coach embodies the desire to serve and care for the children, leaving a lasting impact on their lives. The youth and their parents acknowledge the coaches’ genuine commitment, creating a sense of community and belonging that transcends the summer experience.