Lancaster Family YMCA Receives Community Impact in Youth Development Award

Lancaster Family YMCA receives PA Alliance of YMCA’s Community Impact in Youth Development Award for Power Scholars Academy™

Lancaster, PA  (November 12) – The Lancaster Family YMCA was recently honored by the Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs for its Power Scholars Academy™.

Comprised of 68 YMCA associations and 105 YMCA branches, Pennsylvania has more  YMCAs than any other state in the country. Awards were given to Pennsylvania YMCAs who demonstrated the greatest impact in the Y’s focus areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

Power Scholars Academy™ was developed through a partnership between the YMCA of the USA and the national nonprofit BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life). This program tackles summer learning loss for low-income children living in urban communities who are struggling academically and who lack the resources to access summer learning opportunities. Power Scholars Academy™ provides support in literacy, math, enrichment activities in STEM and the arts, along with a health curriculum with the goal of enhancing overall youth development, academic performance and graduation rates.

At the start and end of the summer, students complete computer-adaptive STAR Reading and Math Assessments, which measure their academic progress against Common Core State Standards.

The Lancaster Family YMCA first launched Power Scholars Academy™ in the summer of 2017 in partnership with the School District of Lancaster. The program was held at King Elementary School and served 65 students from King and Carter and MacRae Elementary Schools. Results from 2017 showed that the students gained an average of 2 months in literacy skills and 1.5 months in math skills versus a 2-month learning loss typically experienced by children when they don’t have access to summer enrichment opportunities.

Based on the positive results from the inaugural program, the School District of Lancaster asked the Lancaster Family YMCA to offer Power Scholars Academy™ as its 2018 summer learning loss prevention program for students across the district. The 2018 session of Power Scholars AcademyTM was held at Elizabeth Martin School and served 213 students in grades 1-5. Results showed that the participating students gained 2.5 months in literacy skills and 1.5 months in math skills.

Power Scholars Academy™ is offered without cost to eligible families in the School District of Lancaster through funding support from individual local donors, local and national foundations and the School District of Lancaster.

Closing the Academic Achievement Gap is a key mission priority of the Lancaster Family YMCA and tackling the issue of summer learning loss is a critical part of that mission. In addition to Power Scholars Academy™, the Y offers summer learning and enrichment opportunities through Camp Exploration at the Lampeter-Strasburg YMCA for 1st and 2nd grade students in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District reading below grade level. The Lancaster Family YMCA provides early learning programming to 58 children ages 3-5 through its Early Learning Academy which is a Pre-K Counts site for the School District of Lancaster.


As a nonprofit, charitable organization, the Lancaster Family YMCA’s mission is to nurture the community through the pursuit of life-long growth in spirit, mind, and body by offering programs focused on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.



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