Summer Learning Academy: A Program of the YMCA of Northwest NC

Ward Elementary School, located at 3775 Fraternity Church Road, is joining seven other schools in Forsyth County who offer the Summer Learning Academy program. This program is designed to keep the participating students on track to maintain and/or improve their academic growth; the program closes the gap between the school years and sustains learning from one school year to the next.  Students are selected by their school’s principal to participate in the program based on their academic needs.

This is the first year that Ward Elementary School will participate and is a welcome boost for the Clemmons community at-large.  Rosemary Suess, VP Operations / Executive Director, Jerry Long and Stokes Branch, YMCA of Northwest North Carolinashared, “Jerry Long Family YMCA is providing sponsorship via grant monies from the Wayne A. Shore Fund and Women Who Care, a community advised fund with Clemmons Community Foundation.  We are excited to bring this tried and true program to Clemmons, giving our children an opportunity to claim a greater impact on their learning.  We view this as an investment in our children, who are the future of our communities.”

Fifty children from first and second grades have already been selected to attend the Summer Learning Academy at Ward Elementary, which runs from June 25 through July 27, 2018.  Classes will be held Monday through Thursday from 8:15 am to 4:00 pm.

Roderick Howard, Executive Director of YMCA Child Care Services explained, “Each school participating in the Summer Learning Academy targets a different grade dynamic based on the academic need identified for that particular facility, selecting about 50 children to participate.  The teachers for the Academy are certified from that school and are also selected by the school’s principal based on their academic performance. The students receive breakfast and lunch provided by the school district, as well as a morning and afternoon snack.  The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC provides weekend meal packs to ensure children have food to eat over the weekend.  Bonita Patton Judge, Senior Program Director for YMCA Child Care Services, explains the scope of the Academy program.  “The first half of the day, students focus on academics – literacy, science, technology, engineering, and math (i.e., STEM).  The second half of the day, after lunch, students work on enrichment skills, arts, character, and leadership endeavors.”

“The program originally started in 2008 as Camp High Hopes,” Bonita shared.  “In 2012 the name was changed to Summer Learning Academy.  We started as a half-day program with 45-minute sessions covering math, reading, and enrichment activities; however, over time, we saw the need for full day classes.  The Academy has adapted to the technological advances and needs of our students.  The Summer Learning Academy involves the whole child environment with an emphasis on parental participation.  Parents may work with Goodwill Industries’ job and career readiness programs, participate in ESL (English as a second language) programs, or receive guidance on ways to best interact with their children’s teachers.”

For additional information on the Summer Learning Academy, contact Bonita Patton Judge, Senior Program Director, YMCA Child Care Services, at 336.727.4849 or via e-mail ( or Roderick Howard, Executive Director YMCA Child Care Services (  For information about other YMCA programs, contact Rosemary Suess, VP Operations/Executive Director, Jerry Long and Stokes Branch, YMCA of Northwest North Carolina(1150 S Peace Haven Rd, Clemmons, NC  27012via phone (office – 336.712.2000 or cell 504.655.2817.  You may also contact her via e-mail (  Visit the website (; information on the Summer Learning Academy is under the program tab.  Follow the many activities offered at Jerry Long Family YMCA on their Facebook page.



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