The Parkview Summer Enrichment Program, or “Summer Club,” is a robust summer program that will provide opportunities for kids ages 6-17 to access STEM and arts resources. Located in the Nevada Heights neighborhood, Northeast Youth and Family Services (NEYFS) partners with Parkview Early Learning Center to serve local families, many of which are children of color, representing a large portion of Spokane’s communities of color.
While it has been a long-term goal to provide this program, Parkview hopes to help mitigate the inevitable impact that COVID-19 will have in learning loss which disproportionately impacts kids from low-income households and kids of color. Summer learning loss is what causes students to come back to school in the fall with lower academic achievement levels than the end of the previous school year. While some parents may be able to offer a comprehensive academic schedule for their kids to prevent the “summer slide,” most families do not have the capacity due to work schedules, a lack of access to resources, among other reasons. The program serves children of a wide range of ages, needs and skills. It was designed through a racial equity approach, meeting kids where they are at and providing access to the resources each individual needs to reach his or her potential.
Today the program is serving thirty children ages 6-13. The activities currently offered include design, engineering and architecture as well as access to a computer lab. As the program builds, it will offer an expanded array of activities in the aforementioned subjects in addition to math, earth science, geography, coding, typing and many other engaging STEM activities. Parkview will partner with experts in the STEM field to lead interactive trainings and to provide an understanding about the day-to-day work they do.
The arts portion of the program will serve as a way to provide access to musical instruments, film and lighting equipment, a sound studio and high-quality arts and craft materials.
Parkview also holds social-emotional and relationship skill building as a defining value. This will be enriched by providing history lessons, psychology, civics and lessons in diversity and culture.
NEYFS and Parkview are committed to serving the whole child, which means providing access to more than academics. Serving the whole child means taking a multigenerational approach by serving the whole family and providing resources the child(ren) and family may face too many barriers to access otherwise. By taking some of the transportation and financial barriers out of the mix, Parkview families can utilize on-site speech, occupation and mental health therapy, vaccine clinics and a clothing pantry. The goal is to add physical therapy, dentistry, a more comprehensive medical care program, family meals and other services for improved nutrition and health to the program in the future.
Finally, the Parkview Summer Enrichment Program will include a mentorship program in the future. NEYFS will be partnering with a local high school to engage teenagers in the STEM and arts activities while giving younger students and older students the opportunity to connect. Through this multigeneration, community-minded approach, students will gain confidence and connection through these mentorships.
These kids are the future of Washington state, a state that is proud of its leadership in the STEM industry. Through the STEM and arts program and wrap-around services, Parkview hopes to inspire confidence and curiosity that will shape the decisions kids make as they become working age adults.