“Anyway we can help out, is important,” said Andrew Yansen.

School’s out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean learning stops there. Especially with math and reading .

“It translates across all reading levels, across all age groups, across all income brackets that this is a skill that everyone needs to have,” he explained. 

The Center for Youth teamed up with the Rochester City School District to help elementary kids learn and improve their reading skills in the summer. According to Elaine Spaull – it all started with a dream.

“That a summer dreams program would come together and what it would do is remind kids how wonderful it was to read – to learn to read,” said Spaull. 

The summer of dream bus drives to 5 different RCSD schools – giving  books to kids that they want to read.

“So that we can stem that summer slide. We know if kids don’t read in the summer, they miss three months of reading and they’re behind,” she said. 

Another program available to RCSD parents is a free app called “ReadyRosie” – a new software platform that was brought to Rochester through funding secured by ROC The Future.

“ReadyRosie” gives parents ideas on how to engage and learn in everyday situations – whether they’re at the grocery store, the playground, the laundry mat – where ever they are,” said Jessica Lewis from ROC The Future. 

These programs now giving parents the ability to keep their children focused, learning in a fun way, and out of trouble. Something Andrew says – are opportunities kids are lucky to have.

“I wish there was something like this when I was a kid because I would have loved this,” added Yansen. 

Before these programs existed, books used to be sent home with the students on the last day of school, but no one knew if these book would actually get read. Since starting summer reading programs a couple years ago, RCSD has seen reading skills improve for children that have participated.