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As the summer recess approaches, kids everywhere are ecstatic for their 2-month vacation free of early morning wakeups, projects, and homework. This is great, but the summer learning loss that students from economically disadvantaged communities will experience is devastating. Luckily, there is a program that prevents the summer learning loss while providing students with a summer filled with entertaining activities: Practice Makes Perfect.
Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) is a 6-week academic intensive summer enrichment program for low-income, disadvantaged youth that strives to increase the student’s life prospects as well as empower their communities.
The following 4 pillars are the foundation of Practice Makes Perfect’s program.
1. Academic Excellence
Academic success is imperative to building a strong foundation that will help our youth critique, examine, and communicate with the world. The most important subjects are the basic building blocks: reading, writing, and math. At PMP a third of our day is dedicated to teaching, practicing, and reviewing these subjects.
Having a role model one admires and can rely on for guidance is invaluable for students of disadvantaged backgrounds. Mentors help serve a blueprint of success that in most cases has been missing in most of our students’ lives. At PMP we use a “near-peer” mentorship approach. We pair up students who are struggling academically with local high achieving mentors that are only 4 years older at a 4:1 ratio. This approach helps create a comfortable and engaging learning environment.
3. Cultural Learning
Cultural sensitivity, awareness, and exposure are important to the growth and development of our youth. At PMP we take our students on culturally diverse, though local, trips that introduce them to new frames of thought in the fields of art, science, literature, and architecture. We explore the intellectual richness of New York City.
4. Community Service
Giving back is essential to being a responsible citizen. At PMP our students are encouraged to attend “Serving our Streets” on Saturdays where we help uplift the local communities through clean ups, clothing drives, and other service projects. Making the summer recess enriching by implementing these four pillars helps our disadvantaged youth eliminate the ‘Summer Slide’, feel empowered, and hopefully change their perception of education. Let us all join in this effort to better the world and help shape the future prospects of all our youth. If you are not investing in the education of our youth today, then what are you looking forward to tomorrow?