YMCA’s Summer Reading Program Delivers Big Results Despite Current Pandemic

YMCA Regional Executive Director Tracy Fuller. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Despite the health pandemic, Haverhill School Committee members learned last week, the YMCA’s summer reading program scored some of the best results in its history.

Tracy Fuller, regional executive director of the Haverhill and Plaistow YMCAs talked about the challenges of putting on the program in the era of COVID-19.

“Through many conversations of how can we do this safely, how can we launch this program. So, we offered the program this year at Haverhill High School and then we hired four additional teachers to go to our summer camps because, this year more than ever, kids needed summer camp this summer. So, we had a group of eight teachers total that helped support our students this summer,” she said.

Fuller said the program is provided at no cost to students or their parents thanks to donations and the help of the school administration. She told the Committee that, despite the pandemic, the results this year were some of the best ever in the eight-year history of the program.

“These kids wanted to learn this summer, more than ever before. The average gain for months of literacy for our students was five months. So, our students, all 84, they read over 1,400 books,” she said.

Fuller reported that one student actually improved his reading level by a full school year during the six-week program.

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