As students are out of school this week for the Thanksgiving Break, I can’t help but to think about a parent I recruited to attend HYPE after learning her 4- and 6-year old children were staying home alone during the summer months because she couldn’t afford childcare.  The guilt, shame, and hopelessness were all over her as she explained how she would call about three times each hour, go home for lunch and begin the calling all over when she got back to her office.  Her oldest child knew he was only to answer the phone when he saw her name on the caller ID and could not answer the door for anyone.  Scary, huh?  I know. But what do you do when you are literally doing the very best you can? Did you know parents pay an average of $288 per week per child for the summer?

See summer is a very unaffordable expense, but what we can’t afford is to let children fall behind all year long because of lack of access to a high-quality summer program.  Summer is critical in not just keeping children safe, but it is also required to ensure children don’t lose what they learned! Studies show low-income students lose two to three months in reading.

This is why I stay HYPE about HYPE Freedom School because we have been able to receive support from donors like you to help cover the costs of summer for children who need it the most and families who can afford it the least.  This allows HYPE to not only provide a safe space for summer for K-8th graders, but also provide high-quality programming where the majority of our scholars demonstrated a 1 year and 4 months of increase instructional reading levels on average.

We are HYPE!  I am HYPE! And with your support, SUMMER will be HYPE to over 250 scholars!

Brandi Brown
Executive Director