Community News for Goffstown, Dunbarton, New Boston & Weare, NH

2007 - 2017

Closing Learning Gaps at the Y while Students are Off From School

 A Summer of Success

The Granite YMCA, The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester

Announce Innovative Collaboration

Goffstown / Manchester, NH: In an effort to close learning gaps while students are off from school during summer months, the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester and The Granite YMCA have embarked on an ambitious project aimed at local students in need.

Today, the two organizations announced plans for “The Summer of Success” a program aimed at mitigating summer learning loss in literacy and math.  “This program fosters physical and social-emotional growth, while also engaging families in the educational process,” said Diane Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester.  “Our goal is to target children with the greatest need, those in low income households, to enhance overall youth development, academic performance and graduation rates.”

The joint collaborative will use the YMCA Power Scholars Achievement Gap model.  Funded by the YMCA of the USA and other charitable contributions, Power Scholars is a six week, full day program that will serve up to 48 youth entering grades 7-9.  It will combine class room learning, enrichment activities and physical fitness.

The academic segment will be held mornings Monday-Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. Afternoon enrichment activities will be held at the YMCA of Downtown Manchester, at the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester and throughout the community to meet all curriculum components. “The model utilizes the BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) model,” explained Hal Jordan, President and CEO of The Granite YMCA.  “The objective of BELL is to transform the academic achievements, self-confidence and life trajectories of children living in under-resourced, urban communities.”

The program will also provide “adventure field trips” held weekly on Fridays to introduce students to NH’s many recreational opportunities.

Both Mr. Jordan and Mrs. Fitzpatrick shared that children from low income families often start school unprepared and despite progressing at the same rate during the school year as their peers, learning gaps widen each summer and some students fall farther and farther behind.  “This achievement gap culminates in low high school graduation and college attainment rates,” said Mr. Jordan.  This in turn limits job prospects and has an overall negative economic and social impact.”

Power Scholars is highly structured, research-based, and follows a number of quality and fidelity markers, including strict staff qualifications, training and student/staff ratios, as well as academic and enrichment dosages. Academic rigor, high expectations and engaging learning experiences drive the program. Students receive 180 minutes of daily data-driven, differentiated instruction and remediation in literacy and math led by certified teachers in a highly engaged learning environment. Students have access to computers to use online learning modules from BELL’s (Building Educated Leaders for Life) research-based curriculum to address Manchester’s Core Curriculum. All students are assessed pre and post program. “In communities where Power Scholars has been scaled,” noted Mr. Jordan.  “Students gained an average of 3 months progress in math and 2.5 months in reading, compared to the over 2 months learning loss traditionally experienced during the summer months.” 

A nutritious breakfast, healthy lunch and snack are served daily and each student receives at least 60 minutes of physical activity.  Enrichment includes: character development, substance, violence and bullying prevention, service-learning, 21st century skills, STEM, creative arts, college and career visits and presentations, and adventure trips.

Mrs. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Jordan stressed that parent and family engagement are vital to the program’s success. A parent orientation and family nights are incorporated as core components.

To further ensure teens have safe places to be in the summer, the Boys & Girls Club is also providing a “wrap around” program daily from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. with dinner and a wide range of activities for participants,” added Mrs. Fitzpatrick.

We’re so excited about this collaboration,” said Mr. Jordan.  “Summer of Success is an unduplicated program in Manchester and will address the Achievement Gap experienced by low income students, as well as the need for services and mentoring for at-risk teens during the summer months.”

The program will run from June 20th through July 29th and will be provided free of charge.  Applicants will be chosen by a review committee comprised of staff and volunteers from YMCA and Boys & Girls Club as well as community leaders.

For more information or to apply, please contact Leslee Stewart, Vice President of Development at The Granite YMCA (603) 782-2805 or via email at or Ken Neil, Chief Operating Officer at The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester (603) 625-5031, ext 230 or via email at

“Summer of Success represents a critical link to a healthier future for area kids,” concluded Mrs. Fitzpatrick. “We’re thrilled to be able to launch it in our community this June.”

About The Manchester Boys and Girls Club

The Manchester Boys Club was incorporated in 1907 and became the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester in 1983. We are one of the 53 original organizations that formed what is now Boys & Girls Clubs of America. From its meager beginnings as reading and recreation rooms, the Manchester Club has grown to include the main Clubhouse at 555 Union Street and two school-based after school sites at Jewett Street and Highland Goffe's Falls Elementary Schools with a focus on academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development. In addition, we operate Camp Foster summer day camp in Bedford, NH.

About The Granite YMCA

As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2015, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at $1.55 million to 19,488 individuals.

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