Peoples’ Self-Help Housing education programs open for summer

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing education programs open for summer


Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Education Programs Open for Summer

By Angel Pacheco for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing | Published on 06.25.2015 11:37 a.m.

Recognizing that research has shown low-income students lose more academic skills over summer than their middle-class peers, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing will continue operating its Youth Education Enhancement Program (YEEP) at learning centers at eight of its affordable rental complexes throughout the summer, serving 240 students.

As it has over past summers, the YEEP program will help from low-income families improve their literacy, English and math skills, rather than allowing these skills to regress over the traditionally inactive summer months.

While most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computations skills over the summer, low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, the National Summer Learning Association reports (Cooper, 1996). Their middle-class peers meanwhile make slight gains in reading achievement over the summer.

“A strong education is key to success in these students’ lives, so offering summer education at our properties was a natural fit for our mission,” said John Fowler, president/CEO of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. “We want these kids to have promising futures in addition to safe homes to grow up in.”

Duke University Professor Harris Cooper, Ph.D., said, “We speculated that middle-class summer school programs may have better funding and resources. And it also may be simply that the problems of poor kids are much more entrenched and difficult to address, more remedial in nature. Some have proposed the ‘faucet theory,’ which suggests that when summer comes around, academic resources for the poor are turned off. Middle-class and better-off parents, however, have the resources on their own to compensate to some degree and provide whatever their children might need — remediation, enrichment, or acceleration-type activities when school is not in session.”

YEEP educators work with students on their literacy, English, and math skills. The program improves grade-point averages, sharpens reading and study skills, promotes high school graduation, builds self-esteem and fosters parent participation in their child’s academic life. In addition to math, English, and literacy skill building, YEEP students learn about and work on projects in areas such as social studies, computers, community service, science, history, music, theatre, dance and physical education.

The YEEP program will also continue providing students with lunches throughout the summer months with contributions from area Foodbanks. About 50,000 kids in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties receive free or reduced priced meals during the school year, but they lose that access over the summer. YEEP served more than 11,000 lunches last summer to children who may have otherwise had nothing else to eat.

The following YEEP programs will be serving the specified number of students all summer:

» Los Adobes de Maria II, Santa Maria: 40

» River View Townhomes, Guadalupe: 40

» Mariposa, Townhomes, Orcutt: 40

» Courtland Street Apartments, Arroyo Grande: 30

» Canyon Creek Apartments, Paso Robles: 20

» Ladera Apartments, Santa Barbara: 20

» Dahlia Court II, Carpinteria: 30

» St. Vincent’s Gardens, Santa Barbara: 20

National Summer Learning Association Facts:

» Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).

» More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).

Click here for more information.

— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.

United Way of Santa Barbara County Kicks Off Fun in the Sun Enrichment Program

United Way of Santa Barbara County Kicks Off Fun in the Sun Enrichment Program




062415-United-Way-630Daren Howard, technical assistance manager for the Partnership for Children & Youth, addresses the importance of continuing education over the summer during United Way of Santa Barbara County’s kickoff Friday of its Fun in the Sun summer enrichment program. (United Way of Santa Barbara County photo)


In celebration of National Summer Learning Day, United Way of Santa Barbara County and invited guests last Friday celebrated the kickoff of its national award-winning Fun in the Sun (FITS) summer enrichment program at the La Cumbre Junior High School theater in Santa Barbara.

The celebration included remarks by Paul Didier, president and CEO of UWSBC; Daren Howard, technical assistance manager at Partnership for Children & Youth; and a FITS alumni who has returned to staff the summer program.

Fun in the Sun is a six-week summer learning program for local academically and financially at-risk children and families. Research has established that low-income students are disproportionately at risk to lose academic skills during the summer. The average poverty-level child experiences a loss in learning (e.g. reading grade levels) over the summer months.

“It’s important to recognize that every community has a mix of people with resources and those without,” Howard said. “Students who grow up with low resources are most affected by summer learning loss, as they are less likely to attend summer camps or be read to by their parents on a daily basis when compared to their higher resource peers.”

FITS aims to reverse this trend through hands-on, project-based lessons and technology driven literacy programs while utilizing the best services and ideas from more than 70 local public and private partners.

“Fun in the Sun is the oldest, and largest public-private partnership dedicated to long-term improvement in the lives of low-income children and their families in Santa Barbara County,” Didier said. “We are thrilled to kick-off Fun in the Sun in conjunction with National Summer Learning Day, and help advocate awareness about the importance of summer learning in helping close the achievement gap.”

FITS offers participants a fun learning environment with a daily emphasis on literacy, including reading and writing. Afternoon enrichment opportunities include activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), service learning projects and field trips.

FITS runs through July 31 at five sites: Aliso Elementary School in Carpinteria, El Camino Elementary School in Goleta, Franklin Elementary School and La Cumbre Junior High School in Santa Barbara and its brand new site at Santa Ynez Elementary School in the Santa Ynez Valley.

In 2014, 93 percent of participants showed gains of +2.05 reading grade levels, according to pre- and post- assessments. FITS’s results have been so extraordinary that in 2012, FITS was named winner of the 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Award by the National Summer Learning Association, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University and leading research body on summer learning loss and its effect on the achievement gap.

— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing United Way of Santa Barbara County.

UCSB Arts & Lectures: Courthouse Sunken Garden to Come Alive with the Sound of Summer Musicals

UCSB Arts & Lectures: Courthouse Sunken Garden to Come Alive with the Sound of Summer Musicals

local news


Beginning in July, Santa Barbara County Courthouse again hosting free summer film series with seven classics


This year’s Summer Film Series at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden is “Over the Rainbow: Great American Movie Musical.” The silent-movie theme drew big crowds last year. (David Bazemore / UCSB Arts & Lectures file photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff | Published on 06.21.2015 2:15 p.m.

Locals are invited to sing along to some of their favorite classic musicals during theSummer Film Series at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. The series kicks off next month.

The theme for the sixth year of the UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures-organized movie series is “Over the Rainbow: Great American Movie Musicals.”

The free films are shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at UCSB’s Campbell Hall and at 8:30 p.m. Fridays under the stars at the Sunken Garden. Screenings run July 8 through Aug. 21, with no screening Aug. 7 because of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

“Let’s do one where people can sing along if they want to,” Art & Lectures associate director Roman Baratiak said of the film theme. “It was a way to kind of get people involved.”

Last year’s silent movie theme was a hit, as well as the series’ best theme yet in 2014 — Alfred Hitchcock films — that drew 3,000 attendees toting blankets, picnic dinners and low-backed chairs.

The screening list of seven classics includes West Side StorySingin’ in the RainThe Wizard of OzAn American in ParisMary PoppinsThe Sound of Music and Cabernet.

Those looking for free outdoor film-viewing will need to stick with the Sunken Garden, since no free movies will be offered this summer at Stearns Wharf or Bohnett Park on Santa Barbara’s Westside.

Merchants discontinued Movies at Stearns Wharf last year because of the high cost and due to disruptions from some in the crowd, mainly area homeless, said Patrick Henry with Wharf property management.


The Wizard of Oz is among the classic movies that will be shown as part of this year’s Summer Film Series at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. (UCSB Arts & Lectures photo)

The Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department has also opted against offering Movies at Bohnett Park, a popular program started last year with donations from community partners.

Because the funding isn’t there, the film series has been put on hold at least another year, said Mark Alvarado, a parks department neighborhood and outreach services staffer.

Music buffs can also catch free shows at Concerts in the Park, however. That city program atChase Palm Park kicks off July 2 with an Eagles tribute band.

The concerts rock from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings. Click here for a full list of bands.

Sunken Garden films — presented by Arts & Lectures, the county Arts Commission,Santa Barbara County Park Foundation and the county Community Services Department, and sponsored by Curvature — are enjoyed mainly by those in their 20s to 40s, Baratiak said.

Organizers aren’t changing much about the already-popular film series, again allowing filmgoers to begin setting up on the courthouse lawn at 10 a.m. the day of screenings. A costume contest could also be in the works.

“Come early,” Baratiak said. “Relax. See a good movie and have a wonderful fun Friday night.”

Click here for a full list of upcoming screenings at the Courthouse Sunken Garden.

— Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at[email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk,@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Pin It on Pinterest