United Way's six-week adapted Virtual Fun in the Sun (FITS) summer learning program concluded on August 7 and, despite the challenging circumstances, was well-received by students, parents, staff, and partners.
Fun in the Sun is a nationally-recognized summer learning program that transforms academically at-risk children (grades 3-12) from low-resource neighborhoods into successful, confident students.
Due to the pandemic, FITS was rapidly adapted to a virtual model to continue supporting up to 350 students and families at seven virtual sites in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, and the Santa Ynez Valley. Thanks to the generosity of over 50 funding partners and service delivery partners, students received much-needed academic support and enrichment, meaningful connection with peers and educators, and a sense of normalcy after so many months of prolonged school closures and social distancing.
Through a virtual setting, scholars engage in hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) activities, improve their literacy skills through signature literacy improvement programs, participate in virtual field trips, and receive all the individualized materials they need for virtual learning on a weekly basis. They also received meals, technology and internet connectivity, and family support services to help during these difficult economic times.
Preliminary survey results were positive and showed:
• 78% of participants said they made new friends during FITS this year.
• 96% of participants said they would participate in FITS again.
• 84% of participants said they engaged in physical activity at least once a week; 29% said they did physical activity every day!
• 67% of the Counselors in Training (CITs) said they feel more confident in their leadership skills after participating in FITS this year.
One mother shared with us: “My son really enjoyed the program. From the liquids pH level tests, to Minecraft yoga and social interaction with his peers. We are so grateful for this program, the clothes and extra craft projects.”
Thank you for your support of Fun in the Sun. For more information about Fun in the Sun, CLICK HERE.