Kay Fennelly Summer Literacy Institute

OUR VISION


David Fennelley The Institute seeks to leverage the existing assets within summer programs and infuse easy-to-implement literacy practices to ensure that more children, ages 4-8, in New Orleans have access to a quality summer program so that they are better prepared to enter the school year at the end of summer.

THE CHALLENGE 

Currently, only 31% of New Orleans third graders are reading on grade level.  More than 2,000 New Orleans children between the ages of 4 and 8, who are living in poverty do not have access to an affordable high-quality summer program. By the time they enter the fourth grade, national research shows low-income students can lose more than two years of learning compared to their middle-class peers due to summer learning loss if they do not participate in a quality summer learning program.

THE APPROACH

In Summer 2018 the Campaign launched the inaugural pilot of the Kay Fennelly Summer Literacy Institute. The Institute aimed to leverage the existing assets within summer programs and infuse easy-to-implement literacy practices to ensure that more children, ages 4-8, in New Orleans had access to a quality summer program so that they are better prepared to enter the school year at the end of summer.

THE INTERVENTIONbasic formula

The Institute sought to build a common understanding among program directors and staff of the importance of having literacy components in all summer programs. Each participating summer program received: 

  • Training modules offered in: Building a Culture of Literacy and Reader's Theater
  • 8 hours of individualized training and coaching  on appropriate activities and implementation strategy for summer program staff per site
  • $500 stipend for literacy materials per site

2020 PIVOT


The inaugural pilot of the Kay Fennelly Summer Literacy Institute launched in 2018 and expanded its early success in 2019, leveraging the existing assets within summer programs and infusing easy-to-implement literacy practices to serve more than two dozen summer programs and over 1,000 children. 

attendanceThe National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recognized the institute’s progress in 2019 with a Bright Spot honor for filing stories highlighting the innovative strategies developed to address the summer slide and literacy enrichment in summer programs. 

The institute’s year-three plan was to deepen and strengthen the existing partnerships and supports so the team could better understand the value participants gain from the institute’s supports, including workshops on literacy integration, embedded instructional coaching, and stipends that increased organizations’ capacity.

Because of COVID-19, the institute team moved to provide all three components in online formats. Even with limited in-person training, coaching, and observation, the institute witnessed significant progress and discovered the benefits of including online programming to participants.

SUCCESSES


kids in class

✔ Served approximately 800 children, of which almost two-thirds were rising third graders or younger

✔ Distributed branded family material kits with writing and coloring supplies and a book of the summer

✔ Developed a YouTube channel to host recorded workshops and trainings

✔ Increased accessibility to workshops to program staff through to online delivery 

✔ Observed increased attendance and engagement through online delivery

The institute is already planning for year four and beyond as the learning slide has widened beyond the summer months as children and their families navigate virtual learning.

For more information on the Kay Fennelly Summer Institute, visit our 

Interested in more fun, engaging literacy-based content for you and your young learners? Visit our YouTube channel for more! 

 

  • A’s and Aces
  • Community Works
  • Dryades YMCA
  • First Pilgrims Baptist Church
  • Kedila Family Learning Center
  • LYFE of Dance
  • New Hope Summer Enrichment
  • New Orleans Ballet Association
  • NORD
  • New Saint Joseph @ Behrman Recreation Center
  • Thrive 9th Ward
  • Total Community Action, Inc.
  • Trinity Community Center
  • VIET
  • YAYA