If you’d met Insharah last August, after her first year in the Fun in the Sun summer learning program, you would never know that she’d started the summer as a shy and quiet student. This confident, enthusiastic, and effusive fifth-grader was dramatically different from the girl who’d enrolled in Fun in the Sun six weeks prior.
Partner teachers and school principals tell us her transformation is largely due to Fun in the Sun’s six weeks of intensive academic and social/emotional skill development. This nationally-recognized summer learning program keeps children and families from Santa Barbara County’s low-resource neighborhoods learning and engaged during summer break to avoid losing valuable academic skills.
Thanks to supporters like you, Insharah was introduced to art, character-building activities, educational field trips, swimming for the first time, and a unique literacy program to help ensure she has the foundational skills to help her succeed in junior high and then high school.
Adult volunteers, dubbed the “Lunch Bunch”, inspired her to dream bigger through daily visits during the lunch hour. Volunteers and students share a meal together, play games, and engage in important discussions about school and careers. One of Insharah’s favorite things to share with her dad at the end of each day was all of the special friends she’d made at Lunch Bunch.
Thanks to Fun in the Sun, Insharah had become more confident and able to express herself. She also made crucial gains in her academic skills that will serve her well as a sixth-grader. In fact, thanks to all of the new vocabulary she picked up over the summer, she now describes herself as a living thesaurus. 100% of last year’s Fun in the Sun students gained valuable reading skills instead of falling behind during the summer.
To learn more about Fun in the Sun, please visit www.unitedwaysb.org/fits.