New Event Highlights the Importance of Children Reaching Grade-Level in Reading and Math Before Third Grade

YouthBASE announces its inaugural Learning for Life event celebrating the work of its after-school intervention program and the impact being made in the lives of young children in Greenville. The benefit will be held on March 30 from 5pm–7pm ET, and will bring together parents, teachers, sponsors and community partners to support YouthBASE as it starts its 18th year in ensuring our community’s children achieve grade-level in reading and math and develop strong social and emotional skills.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2022 Kids Count report, South Carolina ranks 39th in the nation for overall child well-being and 43rd in the nation for education outcomes, making programs like those at YouthBASE critical to improve children’s educational futures. In fact, nearly 42% of South Carolina third grade children did not meet the state’s standards for English language arts and nearly 37% did not meet math standards.

“At YouthBASE we believe that by partnering with schools and families, and utilizing academic intervention strategies, we can make an impact on young children’s lives – specifically by focusing on their Behavioral, Academic, Social, and Emotional wellbeing – and start changing these numbers,” said YouthBASE’s Executive Director, Melissa Huff.

Through its unique after-school and summer program focusing on the youngest of children (grades K5 - 2), YouthBASE aims to build foundational reading, writing and math skills as well as teach age-appropriate social-emotional learning and behavioral skills.

“We partner very closely with parents and teachers to understand every child’s specific needs, talk to each other and come up with tailored approaches for our children to grow and achieve their fullest potential. We’re very proud of this approach and to have programs like Café de Madres and Family Nights that truly involve parents in their children’s education,” said Huff.

Furthermore, through Community Partnerships, YouthBASE’s children are provided a wealth of learning and enrichment opportunities in the fine arts, STEM, outdoors/nature exploration, and more to inspire and open a world of future possibilities. Unlike many programs, YouthBASE is free and transportation is included for participating students to increase accessibility and remove barriers to educational equity.

With research showing that the effects of learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt, particularly among the youngest students, and the impact grade-level can have on our entire lives (the data is increasingly clear that the first years of life have an extraordinary impact), programs like YouthBASE are filling critical educational gaps for the state and Greenville.

All proceeds from the Learning for Life Impact Celebration will go to support YouthBASE’s evidence-based afterschool and summer programs for young children. The evening will include the opportunity to hear personal testimonials from parents and teachers, fine wines, craft beers, ciders, and delicious hors d'oeuvres, and a raffle with a chance to win exciting curated themed packages, like travel, hotel stays, outdoor sports, and performing arts tickets.

Premier sponsors for the event include Greenville Federal Credit Union, Greenville Water, ITW Hartness, Southern First Bank, AFL and many more. For more information on the event or to purchase event or raffle tickets, visit the website here.

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