From our friends at the American Baseball Foundation:
Alabama is very fortunate to have the Summer Adventures In Learning (SAIL) consortium composed of philanthropic organizations that work together to improve reading and math among Alabama’s at-risk children. SAIL academics focuses on having its students enjoy the summer through sports, arts, STEM endeavors and visiting new places. Over its ten-year history, SAIL has grown to serve several of the most-needy sections of the state, which really means children whose schools are failing them.
As a member of SAIL, the ABF has profited from funding, innovative programming ideas, fellowship, and the sharing of technology. The latter includes the capture and sharing of data related to academics. This year of the 3000 children served by SAIL providers, 81% were below their grade level in reading. ABF statistics related to the children we have served over the last eight years (all have taken the same pre and post reading test) bear out that statistic with 79% below level in reading. However, the ABF knows that of these almost 600 students approximately 400 score one year or more below grade level reading. This appalling statistic can be perceived by the following progression:
Average months below grade level in reading for a BASIC 5th grade students are 12 or 1.2 years; for 6th graders 19 months, and for seventh graders 2 years below.
I have heard the term “warehouse” for our public-school systems. In effect many of our children are stacked on the self, until they realize that pursuing academic studies is too difficult for them, due to their inability to comprehend their schoolbooks.
I don’t think that in the 25 years that the ABF has been implementing its BASIC summer programs that I have ever dealt with a human commodity. Not all our students have aspired to university degrees, many in fact would like to compete in professional sports, but all have the dignity that distinguishes them as worthy recipients of our collective sacrifice.
David Osinski, American Baseball Foundation