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Neighbors Link Offers Program To Bridge The Gap For Students

The Summer Links program keeps students engaged and ready to learn.
The Summer Links program keeps students engaged and ready to learn. Photo Credit: contributed

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Summer Links, an academic enrichment program of Neighbors Links, is engaging 106 Mount Kisco Elementary first- through fifth-graders this summer.

The teacher-led program focusing on math, reading and writing runs during July and August, for three hours a day, five days a week. A large number of high school volunteers also participate, facilitating small group work.

Summer Links is structured to close the achievement gap, as the children who participate would otherwise not have access to academic instruction or enrichment activities over the summer vacation.

"Our partnership with the school district, and Mount Kisco Elementary School in particular, has made this program strong with excellent student outcomes," said Carola Bracco, CEO of Neighbors Link. "The students will go back to school in September ready to learn from the day one."

Studies have shown that students lose ground academically during the summer months, organizers note. The Summer Links program assists students to improve math, reading and writing levels, their ability to complete homework independently and correctly, and increase interest and motivation in school. The program also works with parents to increase parental involvement in academic success.

Organizers note that a review of the literature on summer enrichment program evaluations finds that several positive outcomes: school engagement, attendance and likelihood of staying in school, positive behavioral outcomes, reduced participation in at-risk behaviors, and increased academic performance, including test scores, grades, graduation rates and college enrollment.

Families of these students pay on a sliding scale, with the remainder provided by Neighbors Link, through private donors. Because the program operates during regular building hours, there is no additional cost to open and close the building, so there is no cost to district taxpayers for the Summer Links program.

For more information about Summer Links and Neighbors Link, visit www.neighborslink.org.

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