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RPS’ Power Scholars See Gains in Reading and Math

RPS students made gains in math and reading this summer, thanks to Power Scholars, the new summer learning program for RPS elementary and middle school students. 

At a press conference held over the summer, Mayor Levar Stoney and Superintendent Kamras shared news of Power Scholars, a program provided by the YMCA of Greater Richmond and powered by BellXcel’s evidence-based tools and professional development. Over 1,000 students participated in the five-week program receiving daily math and reading academic support and afternoon enrichment activities. 

“My commitment to expand access to high-quality out-of-school time programming includes expanding access to enriching summer programs, like the Power Scholars Academy,” said Mayor Stoney. “I’m pleased and proud that this cross-sector partnership gave our kids an opportunity to learn and grow over the summer.”

As research has shown, the summer months can lead to summer learning loss but engagement in high-quality out-of-school time can combat that slide. During the Power Scholars program, all RPS students gained on average +.5 months in reading and +1.5 months in math (measured via pre and post-assessments) and reported higher self-confidence and an increase in family engagement.

“In alignment with our strategic plan, Dreams4RPS, we are committed to working with the City and our partners to provide high-quality out-of-school-time options for our students,” said RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras. “Power Scholars is a great example of what our students are capable of when they have access to rigorous and exciting opportunities and the tools they need to succeed. I’m grateful for this collaboration with the YMCA, BellXcel, and Walmart and we’re excited to begin planning for Power Scholars 2020.”

In addition to academics, enrichment activities and community engagement are also key components of the Power Scholars program. Students took weekly field trips, including trips to the Science Museum of Richmond, Pocahontas State Park, and Richmond Metro Zoo. Students were also exposed to new subjects and career paths such as fashion design, world cultures, and coding.

“The Y is excited to extend our service in the summertime with this academically focused program that focuses on the potential of every child and building a growth mentality and social capacity in all RPS students,” said Abigail Farris Rogers, EVP, Chief Advancement Officer, YMCA  of Greater Richmond.” We look forward to continuing this partnership and serving more kids and families in the RPS- PSA next summer.”

“BellXcel is proud to partner with the YMCA of Greater Richmond and RPS to increase access to evidence-based summer learning that is fun and engaging, with rigorous academics at its core. Through this collaboration, we not only empowered scholars, but also equipped educators with instructional skills and resources over the summer, which will transcend into school classrooms for year-round impact,” said Partheev Shah, Vice President of Partner Solutions, BellXcel.