United Way invests in summer programs to keep youth on track for school success

July 24, 2014

Research shows that students lose academic ground during the summer months when they are not routinely in a traditional academic setting. This problem increases substantially among low-income students who have limited access to thriving summer learning programs and resources. These types of youth asset-building programs are critical during this season when so many youth throughout Delaware have increased amounts of unstructured or unsupervised time that could lead to risky behavior.

To combat the summer academic slide, United Way of Delaware is investing $85,000 in supporting 14 summer camps and enrichment programs across Delaware to serve more than 1,000 youth. These programs focus on positive youth development, college preparation and career readiness programs plus expose youth to arts, sports, hands-on activities, and academic development, all while fostering meaningful relationships. Ten of these 14 programs have enrolled 9- to 17-year-old youth from low-income families throughout the city of Wilmington.

“We recognize that in order for our youth to succeed both personally and academically, they need access to safe and healthy environments where there are opportunities to learn and develop academic and life skills throughout the summer months,” said Michelle A. Taylor, president and chief executive officer for United Way of Delaware. “By investing in summer programs, we’re investing in not only the future of our youth, but the future of Delaware.”

These summer programs are being held at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, the Latin American Community Center, One Village Alliance, West End Neighborhood House, Neighborhood House, the Kingswood Community Center, Delaware Adolescent Program Inc., Christiana Cultural Arts Center, and Children and Families First.

In addition to those programs, UWD is partnering with Teach for America’s Delaware Summer 2014 Community Learning Collaborative. Teach for America has aligned an innovative partnership with five community centers in Wilmington to develop a collaborative for improving the effectiveness of summer program delivery. Through this partnership, community centers will work together with Teach for America to ensure the curriculum used, lessons taught and level of engagement at summer programs are more deliberate, impactful and cohesive for youth than ever before.

For more information, to contribute, to advocate or volunteer at United Way of Delaware, go to or call 302-573-3731.