A message from Diana

By Kelly Craugh
Hello Scholars Community,

 

There are few words to adequately describe the complexity of the challenges we face in today’s environment. We are confronted with a public health crisis that demands we adapt and re-imagine how we meet the needs

of our scholars and families. We also have tremendous pain from the social injustice in our communities, that require all of us to be allies and champions for change. Today, over 90% of the student scholars we serve are children of color, live in low-income communities, and are reading below grade-level. Schools shuttered early due to Covid-19 burdened many children and their families with the responsibility of trying to manage their learning with limited support, while their families may be struggling to find work or juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet. The virus widened the already expansive education gap for children of color in low-income communities. Without the small group, teacher-led summer enrichment programs like Scholars Unlimited, our students will fall further behind, setting up a generation of children and young adults who will struggle to access economic opportunities for the future.

 

You may be asking yourself, what you can do? Now more than ever, we need to continue to address the systemic and educational inequality of our scholars’ experience. Scholars Unlimited is committed to engaging students in meaningful programs that cultivate imaginations, nurture young spirits, and promote the bright minds in our communities; however, we can’t do this alone. We need your help. Please join us, alongside our education and community partners, and together we will push forward because we know young people, and our scholars are counting on us, and our future is counting on them.

 

Join us today, by committing to one of the special opportunities located on our homepage. We are in need of mission ambassadors, fundraisers for our programs, and guest attendees for our upcoming special event.

 

The Future of Our Programs

 

Scholars Unlimited has been adapting and evolving for the Covid-19 world we all now live and operate in. Starting back in mid-March of this year, we started an internal review of our programs: Scholars After School, Ready Scholars, Next Generation City Builders, CodeSpire, and Summer Scholars, and we are happy to report that we are ready for a successful relaunch, beginning with our new summer programming in late June.

 

To set our students up for success, we made a strategic pivot and have worked with experienced partners to transition our curriculum for a professional, user-friendly platform to a new online format. In addition to “going online”, we are also prepared to ensure our students are engaged during our multiple remote learning sessions. Here is what we are doing to address equity and inclusion and advance social justice in our program for summer success:
  • All of our Summer Scholars will receive headsets with a microphone, which will allow them to hear and be heard to better enhance their focus and participation.
  • We are creating weekly learning packets that scholars will have to enhance their online learning with hands-on materials.
  • In partnership with our local school districts, we will connect with families at pick up “grab-and-go” food sites across the metro area.
  • We are addressing technology barriers with new investments in Chromebooks and access to neighborhood hotspots.
  • All of our students will continue to participate in enrichment and exercise, now online, with expertise from our youth development instructors who have existing relationships with students, and have creative activities to keep them moving and engaged.
  • Every scholar will receive a book that is foundational to our curriculum.

 

And finally, to address our student-online engagement even further, we will continue our outreach to households in the form of phone calls, texts, and short conversations with families over our new online learning platform. Our teaching medium may have changed, however, our outreach will remain the same—often.