Fall River program improves academic skills of students

August 4, 2018 by  

The Power Scholars program recently got underway at the YMCA in Fall River.

It was organized by Bell, an educational foundation of a non-profit nature that began in 1992 by Latino and Black law students at Harvard University, to help children of minority backgrounds to improve their skills in math and reading. There are now 150 locations of the program, in which over 16,000 students are enrolled, 96 of which are in the program at Fall River.

Director of educational advancement at YMCA Southcoast, Annmarie Sawyer, said the way students get into the program is by working with teachers to identify students in need and then send out invitations in the spring to attend the program. The focus is on those students where English is not their first language, as these students often have greater challenges when it comes to reading.

Chairman of the Board of the Bell Foundation, Laurene Sperling, said that the program at Fall River has yielded positive results. Grades on tests at the beginning and end of the summer and overall attendance surpass national averages.

Each day includes 90 minutes each of reading and writing and math, with singing, gardening, puppetry, swimming, and working on the computer after lunch.

Print shops can be hired to create various kinds of printed materials to promote such programs in the community and highlight the