This year’s summer programs in Prince George’s County touched the lives of over 250 young people in our region, ages 12-15. During these five-week programs, youth focused on their academic and life skills and the keys to a successful middle school or high school experience. Our goal was for youth to have fun and keep learning all summer long!

Research shows that low-income youth are more likely to lose academic ground when school is out of session (the “summer slide”) than more affluent students. At LAYC, we’re not letting that happen! The young people are heading back to school this month with new friends, new skills, new career pathways and goals, and lots of great memories.

One hundred students from Buck Lodge Middle School, rising sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as the theme of their program. Students designed, built, and tested robots and learned computer programming. Afternoons were spent taking classes in dance, music, theater, arts, and sports. At LAYC’s Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers  (LAYC/MMYC) Riverdale site, 60-65 students from William Wirt Middle School, including rising sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, focused on improving English, math, and life skills and spent afternoons learning about gardening and healthy eating, the arts (including mural-making), and sports. On Fridays, students from both programs participated in field trips together, traveling to the Smithsonian American History Museum, the National Zoo, and Green Briar State Park for the end-of-program celebration.

Another program for Prince George’s County youth took place at LAYC/MMYC Riverdale for 100 rising ninth graders from Buck Lodge, Hyattsville, and Nicolas Orem Middle Schools. These youth will be attending either Northwestern or High Point High Schools this fall. The program focused on academic and life skills for the first part of the day and enrichment activities in the afternoon. Life skills concentrated on providing the tools to help students succeed in high school, such as social and organizational skills and the Joven Noble curriculum, which is endorsed as a best practice by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and focuses on prevention of substance use, relationship and gang violence, and school challenges.

Our Prince George’s County summer programs are possible thanks to support from the Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, United Way, New York Life Foundation, and Prince George’s County Department of Family Services.

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