The Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation granted $4,000 to the YMCA of Greater Nashua to help fund Power Scholars Academy, the five-week learning loss prevention program for students in grades 1-8. The YMCA of Greater Nashua is operating Power Scholars Academy, an evidence-based summer curriculum developed by the YMCA and Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) for more than 300 low-income Nashua youth who are behind in literacy and math levels. The Y is working in partnership with the Nashua School District, 21st Century Programs and Title I to fund and run this program.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation for helping us ensure the success of these young scholars,” said Joe Manzoli, COO, YMCA of Greater Nashua. “It is our hope that Power Scholars Academy will engage young people in enriching academic experiences and set them up for further success when they head back to school.”
The goal of Power Scholars Academy is for student participants, referred to in the program as “scholars”, to read at their grade level by third grade. It combines academic instruction in literacy and math, enrichment activities, STEM, field trips and service programs, recovering the 2.5 months of school learning that would otherwise be lost during summer. Scholars in grades 1 through 5 meet at Amherst Street Elementary or Fairgrounds Elementary, while middle schoolers convene at Nashua High South.
“I recently had the pleasure of touring the program as it was in session,” said Kyle Schneck Vice President of Commercial Lending at Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack). “We learned that summer learning loss is a real phenomenon. Young people can actually lose academic skills during their summer break, a leading contributor of high school dropout. This program successfully counteracts this, closing the achievement gap between children of lower and higher income families.”
“On behalf of the Foundation, we’re really happy to contribute to such an important program for the young people of our community,” added Philip Emma, President of the Merrimack. “Support was given to Power Scholars Academy because of their proven technique in helping students increase their social-emotional health, community connections and school engagement. It truly is a wonderful curriculum for Nashua’s youth.”
The YMCA of Greater Nashua was established to strengthen the community through a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Programming is infused with the organization’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. As a leading nonprofit partner, the Y has the track record and on-the-ground presence to move communities forward. For more on the YMCA of Greater Nashua, visit: nmymca.org.
The Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation was funded by Merrimack County Savings Bank in 1997 for grant-based contributions to not-for-profit organizations that enrich and improve the quality of life for residents living in the Bank’s service areas. Five Trustees, selected among the Bank’s Corporators and Board of Directors administer the Foundation and its activities, distributing a portion of the Foundation’s endowment each year. While not focused on a particular category, the Foundation remains mindful of the receiving organization and its contribution to the quality of life in the communities served. Applications are due annually on October 1st.