Summer Learning

UWSC Fills Gaps During Summer

The areas of education, income and health intersect frequently, which is very true when helping children during summer months.
We know that research spanning 100 years shows that students lose ground over the summer months. Sadly, students from families with low incomes lose, on average, two months or more in reading. For many of these students, they are already behind when they first come to school. Even if they can catch up during the school year, the lack of learning opportunities in the summer makes that gap even wider. What is most alarming is that by the end of 5th grade, these children who would benefit from additional support are nearly three grade equivalents behind more affluent peers in reading.
Summer is also a time when families have a harder time making their budgets work because their food costs increase so dramatically. To make matters worse, the food that is available to them for quick and easy preparation may not be the healthiest choice in most cases.

Knowing all of these things, UWSC has taken an active role in providing enrichment opportunities and meal planning for children during the summer. Together, with other community partners, UWSC will again help fund and implement summer programs in Ames, Ballard and Nevada this summer.
UWSC is working with the school districts, and the planning teams are organizing the summer food and enrichment programs to complement the academic program.
The programs are free of charge for participants, and many volunteers will be needed to make them happen! Volunteers can work as classroom or activity assistants, work directly with children or as food servers and check-in assistants. Please visit for more information and to sign up.
  • Little Cyclone Camp at Ames Middle School: June 6-July 14
  • Ballard Summer Program at Huxley Public Library: June 6-July 14
  • Food for Thought at Nevada Elementary School: June 20-July 28
Enrichment activities last year included learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, reading, engineering, math and the arts. Both programs relied heavily on volunteers to provide the meals and the learning experiences. See the impact in the videos below!


Ames Community Schools, Ames Parks and Recreation, Ames Public Library, Ames Soccer Club, AMOS, Bethesda, Community Housing Initiative, Eyerly Ball, Food Bank of Iowa, Girl Scouts of Iowa, Heartland AEA, ISU Extension and Outreach, ISU Story County Extension, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Mid-Iowa Community Action, Reiman Gardens, Raising Readers in Story County, Rotary Club of Ames, Central Iowa RSVP, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, The Salvation Army, VERB, The Volunteer Center of Story County, and Youth and Shelter Services.
Without the help of our dedicated partners, we would not be able to create and sustain great summer programming for children. THANK YOU for helping us build a community of learners!