Ryan Braun and the Johnsonville Racing Sausages hung out with 120 Milwaukee children at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Tuesday along with the SHARP Literacy Organization to kick off the Ryan Braun Summer Learning Gain Initiative.
The main goal of this program is to stop the summer slide.
The summer slide is when children lose academic skills they learned during the school year over summer vacation. The initiate offers academic support through reading and offering academic assistance.
Milwaukee kids from various summer programs are participating this year: Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, Journey House, Our Next Generation, COA-Riverwest, Milwaukee Christian Center, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center (including Thurston Woods and Browning Elementary Community Learning Centers), Neu-Life at Gwen T. Jackson, and Kluge Elementary Community Learning Center, Milwaukee Public School’s J-Term at Starms Discovery and Summer Academy at Cooper Elementary School. Of these areas, more than 400 children will be participating in the eight-week event, says Braun.
SHARP president Lynda Kohler is pleased with the numbers and says this program is helpful for students during summer vacation.
"This is one way to bridge that summer slide. It's for them to learn and sharp is such a unique program so they're learning but they're also having fun," said Kohler.
Fifth-grader Savannah Jones says she likes reading and understands the importance of continued reading during her summer vacation.
"If you don't read over the summer you'll fall back," said Jones. "And sometimes if you don't read your grades will go down."
SHARP Literacy says it's working to make sure hundreds of students keep their minds active this summer.