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Community Learning Centers engage youth over the summer

Denny3Did you know that over the summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading, while higher-income peers make slight gains? And over the years, these losses add up—by fifth grade, summer learning loss can mean that low-income students are 2 ½ to 3 years behind their peers1.

But thanks to innovative summer learning programs, such as the Westside Scholars at Denny International Middle School in West Seattle, kids from a variety of backgrounds can spend their summer months engaged in academic and enrichment activities. And best of all, the Westside Scholars program combines learning with what is most important to kids over their summer break—having fun!

Westside Scholars offers extra academic support to 7th and 8th grade students at Denny International Middle School, while serving as an introduction to middle school for incoming 6th grade students. This year, more than 200 students participated in the five-week program from July to August. In addition to participating in classes covering standard topics, students also had the opportunity to take part in creative and hands-on enrichment classes, including Mariachi, Cooking and Cartooning.

The Westside Scholars program operates in part out of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Community Learning Center at Denny International Middle School. Located within Seattle Public Schools and operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation or the YMCA of Greater Seattle, Community Learning Centers serve as a place where students who are struggling find hope and opportunity. From homework help to singing classes, Community Learning Centers help provide students with the support they need to succeed in school and life. To learn more about our Middle School and Elementary Community Learning Centers, visit: