Goal: Ensure children are school-ready.


Students who read at grade level by 3rd grade are 60% less likely to drop of out school and will be better prepared for life.  For the last 3 years, United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area has funded a collaborative program that gives local 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students the opportunity to continue to learn and grow over the summer, since 2-3 months of learning are lost during summer vacation.

This year, 48 students participated and 41 of them graduated from the program on August 8 in the Bryant Elementary gymnasium!  These students advanced their reading skills, went on educational field trips, spent time learning about gardening and the outdoors, and more.

Josh’s daughter participated in the Summer Literacy Academy for the last two years.  He says, “My daughter Leya struggles with reading and writing. We signed her up for the Summer Literacy Academy because she wanted to start next year on the right foot and keep up with her peers. We are glad that United Way funded a program to keep Leya engaged in learning through the summer so she will be more successful in school and life.” Josh told us his daughter asked him about the program before he signed her up last year because she didn’t like struggling with reading.  As a result, Leya is able to keep up with her peers and enjoys school more.

To make the program possible, a collaboration* of nonprofit staff members, foster grandparents, AmeriCorps members, teachers, and community volunteers came together to give the kids a dynamic, safe and fun learning experience.

Thank you for your generous support in making it possible for United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area to fund this program to give local students bright futures!

YMCA Site Director Stacy Elton recognizes the Summer Literacy Academy’s AmeriCorps members for their contributions to the students’ success.

UWLCA President and CEO, Alison Munson with David Smith, Executive Director of the Helena Family YMCA.

UWLCA President and CEO, Alison Munson with YMCA Site Director Stacy Elton and UWLCA Community Impact Coordinator, Trina Filan.

YMCA Site Director Stacy Elton recognizes volunteers who supported the Summer Literacy Academy in front of students and families.

*This collaborative project was made possible through the partnership of Helena Family YMCA, Helena School District, AmeriCorps members, and RSVP Foster Grandparents, and various community volunteers.

Programmatic information provided through organizational application for funding.