Arts enriched programming aims to reduce summer learning loss

By the end of 5th grade, children living in low-resource communities are two years behind their middle-class peers in verbal achievement. Summer learning loss accounts for 66 percent of that gap. In 2014 Central Indiana Community Foundation, Summer Advantage USA, and Arts for Learning launched a pilot program, Inspiring Scholars, to not just reduce learning loss, but to also accelerate learning over the summer.

Inspiring Scholars is a holistic summer school program that integrates academic, social, arts and cultural learning opportunities. Research shows that arts enriched learning environments have significantly positive academic and non-cognitive impact on school and youth development outcomes, yet these low-resource families have little to no access to such experiences.

We believe, and Research and experience indicates, that students participating in Inspiring Scholars can improve their academic proficiency by closing the achievement gap between students from high resource and low-resource families though a summer experience that accelerates learning. This year’s goal is to enroll at least 200 Decatur Township students, but CICF, Summer Advantage and Arts for Learning hope to grow the program to include Indianapolis Public Schools by 2016.

Community collaboration and funding partnerships are critical for this program to succeed. Together, we can help students to achieve higher education attainment rates, access to greater opportunities to rise out of poverty, and become more civically engaged Indianapolis residents.

To support 2015 Inspiring Scholars, visit Give Now and indicate “Inspiring Scholars” as the fund name. If you’d like information on the success of 2014 Inspiring Scholars program, please contact Andrew Black.

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