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YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Teams Up with Irving ISD for Summer Learning Academy

The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas has joined forces with the Irving Independent School District (ISD) to launch the Summer Learning Academy (SLA) aimed at benefiting 50 students in grades 1-5. The program targets the issue of summer learning loss, which disproportionately affects lower-income students, exacerbating the achievement gap.

SLA is a comprehensive four-week intervention program focusing on math and literacy skills, structured to allow students to enjoy their summer while enhancing their academic abilities. The initiative will take place at Hanes Elementary, identified by Irving ISD as a Title One campus.

“In the last few years, there have been more academic obstacles in our children’s path than ever before. Our goal with SLA is to help remove those barriers,” said Jodi Newman, Vice President of Operations at the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. “This program takes a holistic approach and helps students build confidence, improve their mental wellness and allows them to reach their maximum potential.”

In 2023, the Y successfully operated SLA in three schools, benefiting 268 at-risk youth, with over 85% of students showing improvement in math and reading scores in one North Texas school district alone. Success is gauged through various metrics including district MAP testing, report cards, and surveys from both parents and teachers.

“Irving ISD is committed to educational excellence,” said Magda Hernandez, Irving ISD Superintendent of Schools. “Our partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas is another avenue for families to have more affordable childcare options, increased academic support and physical development opportunities for youth.”

The program offers academic sessions in the mornings, followed by activities focusing on physical and mental wellness in the afternoons, including free swim lessons and water safety education. Nutritious breakfast and lunch are provided to ensure students receive healthy meals throughout the summer. Irving ISD teachers facilitate the academic curriculum, while the Y's Childcare team oversees the full-day program.

To support Hanes Elementary students in SLA, the YMCA has pledged to raise over $60,000, in addition to continuing to offer free weekly swim lessons and field trips. Those interested in learning more about the program or supporting it can contact Jodi Newman at

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