Power Scholars Academy™ making an impact

two girls sitting at computer

Our Power Scholars Academy™ is in full swing and getting noticed! 

Channel 9



We’re proud to again partner with the City of Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department for a third year to provide the Power Scholars Academy™ program, an initiative by YMCA of the USA and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) at no cost to third through fifth grade students.

The success of the program has allowed the Y to expand to include Kirk Park as well as Wilson Park, Burnet Park and Schiller Park, to reach more children in their neighborhoods throughout the city. The Power Scholars Academy™ program, based on BELL’s evidence-based model, blends rigorous, small-group academic instruction with high-quality camp-like enrichment and community engagement activities. Y staff, who are trained and supported by BELL, deliver the program for who are struggling academically and who lack access to summer learning opportunities in their community.

“Last summer, our Scholars achieved 3 months of math and reading gains, 1 month greater than the national average,” said Alicia Roberson, Education Director for the YMCA of Greater Syracuse. “Our fun, hands-on enrichment activities, field trips and service projects combined with rigorous academic instruction has been proven to advance student achievement.” 

This summer program runs from July 9 to August 10. Breakfast is provided in the morning followed by a community activity. Teachers then lead 90 minutes of literacy instruction followed by 90 minutes of math instruction using a customized curriculum developed by Scholastic. Teachers and scholars then eat lunch together, followed by an enrichment block of physical activity or a guest speaker or project.

In the afternoon, scholars participate in the drop-in Parks and Recreation program. During this time children engage in enrichment activities, including chess, community service projects, cooking projects and physical activity. Scholars have participated in programs with Apple and Microsoft, undertaken service projects and got to meet former Mayor Stephanie Miner when she visited the program to read to the children. 

The Power Scholars Academy™ program is part of a variety of academic enrichment programs offered by the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, including tutoring, academic support and low-cost SAT/ACT prep courses. For more information on these programs, contact Director of Education Alicia Roberson at 744-4420 or aroberson@syracuseymca.org or visit ycny.org.

Locations: Downtown YMCA
Category: Academics