2021 Summer investments for youth announced
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

2021 Summer investments for youth announced

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Children playing at camp

July 12, 2021

In an effort to curb summer slide for local students, and with generous community support, United Way has announced $1 million dollars in summer educational programing. 

Nine out of ten teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of the school year. Investing in summer programing is key to school year success.

"The past 15 months have presented significant challenges to our community's young people, including so much disruption to their academic and social lives,” said Nicole Angresano, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “United Way wanted to make sure to provide extra summer support to those organizations who are creating safe spaces for young people to get back to what they need and love: academic enrichment, jobs, the arts, sports and some good old summer recreation."

United Way is excited to support the following programs.

Advocates of Ozaukee Children’s Group 

Using a tested curriculum, Advocates’ Child Advocate will work with approximately 25 individual children over several sessions this summer. Sessions include discussions and an activity that helps children to process what they have been through, helps them build resilience, create safety plans, and teach either yoga or meditation. Funding will help build a small library of books that are diverse, fun, and bring attention to a new or growth opportunity for them to have in their home. They will promote reading time with child and parent together.

Group of children playing soccer

America SCORES Milwaukee

Supporting the Jr. SCORES and Elementary SCORES programs. Jr. SCORES engages K5 - 2nd graders in poetry, creative expression, and storytelling through social emotional learning-themed workshops. Weekly sessions include two days of reading, writing, drawing, and sharing, and two days of soccer. Participants create a “Power Pledge” group poem by adding a new line and new artistic movement element each week. This process promotes self-empowerment and team cohesion, while introducing creative movement such as acting and dancing. Elementary SCORES engages 3rd-5th graders in creative writing workshops focused on poetry. Weekly sessions include two days of reading, writing, drawing, and sharing, and two days of soccer. These workshops teach youth to think creatively, to express their thoughts and feelings, and to build confidence through public speaking.

Artists Working in Education

Supporting safely modified in-person programming in the summer of 2021. To facilitate this hybrid reopening, AWE will incur expenses more in line with previous summers, with much of the expense arising from the costs associated with hiring and training teaching artists, bolstering the creative economy in Milwaukee and assembling and distributing kits of high-quality supplies. This ensures that youth in Milwaukee have the opportunities to participate in hands-on art-making while maintaining high safety standards.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Supporting SPARK Summer Tutoring and Clubs Summer Operations. BGCGM is implementing summer SPARK tutoring for the first time. Before making this decision, the SPARK program surveyed 100+ parents, and the majority shared they would like to continue with SPARK. BGCGM’s summer SPARK tutors hope to engage at least 75 students through this intensive, one-on-one model. United Way funding would allow BGC to operate summer SPARK, keep more sites open, and pay their talented mentors and team members to continue supporting Milwaukee’s youth.

Big brothers and big sisters of Ozaukee photo of a big and little fishingBig Brothers Big Sisters - Ozaukee County

Supporting their REACH Activities Summer Program. The REACH program supports all enrolled youth - currently 117 actively enrolled, both matched and waiting-to-be-matched with a mentor. All youth are eligible to attend the events free of charge with their mentor/parent/guardian. With over 57% of youth living in homes with a household income of $35,000 or less, these events will provide a free, fun, and safe activity for them to enjoy together. 

COA Youth & Family Centers 

Supporting meals for late afternoon/early evening teen basketball program at the Goldin Center. The lack of activities for teens in the Amani neighborhood was really exacerbated by the pandemic and the basketball program is serving as a gateway to other programs and services.

Germantown Parks and Rec In-person Youth Programming 

The mission of the department is to enhance the quality of life for all residents of the community by providing quality recreational programs and special events. They will serve over 15,000 youth this summer. The safety protocols they have in place this summer to keep everyone safe during the pandemic include keeping children in small groups.

Germantown School District Summer School 

Supporting a fully in-person summer program of activities, projects, and academics. More than 660 students of all ages (pre-K–12) have enrolled in 40+ enrichment and support classes, including in-person credit recovery. Additionally, the district is offering a variety of summer school enrichment courses that provide opportunities for students who want to learn a new skill, be it in athletics or the arts, science, or Spanish. Support classes focused on bridging the gap between pandemic performance and usual performance (literacy, math, social skills, etc.) mean students who were not as successful during the school year are able to receive additional support.

Young student work with lettersKellogg PEAK Initiative 2021 Summer and Fall Youth Mountain Biking Instruction 

Milwaukee Recreation and NICA have listed PEAK as an official site for 2021 summer and fall youth mountain biking instruction. Milwaukee Recreation is providing an experienced senior coach to lead the PEAK clinics and some of their team members wide ranging cycling skills are being trained as mountain bike coaches to co-facilitate and provide one-on-one attention to the young people who participate, most of whom have never been on a mountain bike or to a mountain biking trail. DreamBikes is working with PEAK to ensure that every young person who participates has a serviceable bike that is appropriately sized. They intend to serve 300-370 youth. United Way funding would go to fill a gap they have for instructor bikes, youth racing bike, trailer for transporting youth and instructor bikes, and other equipment.

Marquette Institute for the Transformation of Learning

Supporting a six-week summer reading program to address growing concerns around literacy and provide 150-250 students with quality reading instruction.

Ozaukee Family Services In-person Youth Group 

Supporting two co-ed groups for youth ages 10-13 residing in Ozaukee County. The goal is to offer a safe environment with activities for middle school age youth to foster positive social interactions, practice social skills, teach positive self-care and coping skills.

Young adult playing financial literacy gameRunning Rebels

Supporting the Summer Employment Program. For the Pipeline2Promise program, Running Rebels works with businesses in their neighborhoods, as well as other locations. The businesses commit to hiring young people, and Running Rebels provides soft skills trainings and support to remove barriers to employment.

Teens Grow Greens

Supporting summer paid internship programming including two months of intensive work at Westlawn Gardens, the Ultimate Farm Collaborative (the former Growing Power), and P3 Farms in the Garden District. Interns working at Westlawn tend and harvest three new production beds. In addition,  interns are involved with weekly weekend community gatherings and food distribution in the garden. Interns at the farm will be growing food, learning about aquaponics, beekeeping, goat herding, and more. They will also help renovate a greenhouse. Interns at P3 will undergo a new curriculum in sustainable farming, foraging, medicinals, and cooking.

Group photos of teens giving plants away at neighborhood garden

Unity in Motion

Supporting Camp Kindred - an intentional overnight camp program. Camp Kindred connects young people from Milwaukee across lines of difference for a transformative experience. Culturally competent near-peer mentors guide youth to intentionally process their experiences through “Kindred Time,” a restorative justice-based community circle program, focusing on the themes of self-esteem, empathy, authentic relationship building, communication skills, and conflict resolution. Participants start in third grade, and then transition into a year-round justice-focused socioemotional and leadership program and year-round mentoring.

YMCA Metro Milwaukee

Supporting BellXcel and Camp Operations.  At present, the Y plans to open at least six licensed day camp sites serving 2,280 youth and several more wrap camps (filling in the rest of the day in junction with summer schools). They will serve roughly 200-250 students. The Y Day Camps will implement BellXcel, a proven program that provides special learning loss educational curriculum. This evidence-based program was shown to be successful especially with underserved populations and Y Day Camps across the U.S.

United Way knows education is key to the success of our community and is so grateful for our generous donors. Not currently a donor? Make a donation to the Community Fund now.

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