(BALTIMORE – March 29, 2019) – Below is a message from THREAD …
Summer break for most American schools is 10-11 weeks long, while the average employee gets less than three weeks of vacation per year. This makes for a challenging situation, compounded by the fact that the average cost of one week of summer camp is $314.
$314 x 10.5 weeks = $3,297 per child
The truth is, most parents simply can’t afford summer. Unaffordable summer programming exacerbates summer learning loss for young people in lower-income families, who lose an average of two months of reading skills each summer. Summer-by-summer, the academic achievement gap between higher and lower-income young people widens—with one-half of this gap attributed to summer vacation.
At Thread, we empower our high school students each summer by working with them and their families to assess which summer opportunities meet their academic, financial, and personal goals. Sometimes it’s summer school to prevent summer learning loss and stay on track to graduate. Other times it’s Youthworks—a summer jobs platform run by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) that connects employers and students, provides administrative support, and pays salaries for thousands of Baltimore’s youth to participate in a five-week long, internship each year. And other times, it’s continuing to work the job they have been working throughout the school year.
The most critical thing is to support our students in defining their short and long-term goals and create awareness and access to opportunities that match their passion and skills. Upfront support might take the form of Thread working with schools to assess which credits a student needs for graduation, obtaining the necessary documentation to apply to Youthworks, or filling out a scholarship application. And then we continue to work to remove barriers to success throughout the summer. Whether it be a ride to summer school classes, a relationship building session for students and employers, or ongoing professional development coaching, we are committed to our young people thriving.
Recently, The Brookings Institute set out to identify whichexperiences lead to higher quality jobs for young people growing up in lower-income households by looking at the job quality of 29-year-olds. As it turns out, the simple act of having a meaningful work experience with a caring adult at a fair wage during one’s high school years greatly impacts overall job quality—pay, benefits, satisfaction, and hours—ten years later.
That’s pretty incredible.
With summer approaching, our need for summer job opportunities is growing. Just last week, we celebrated Family Match Day, where we connected 112 newly enrolled high school freshmen with Thread Families. This spring, they’ll work together to explore the students’ interests, identify goals, and find experiences that best suit them.
Thread’s employer partners are training the future workforce of Baltimore, creating an even greater sense of purpose in their work, and building stronger ties to their community through building relationships with young people, volunteers, staff, and other employers. Some of our current employer partners include: Whiting-Turner, Magic Minds Summer Camp, Code In The Schools, Mission Fit, Civic Works’ Baltimore Conservation Leadership Corps., Open Works, and Art with a Heart.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming part of our employer community, we’d love to connect with you. Many of our students, who are budding with talent, are still looking for meaningful summer work experiences. On Tuesday, April 16th, Thread’s Summer Employment Fair will bring employers & Thread youth together to get to know one another, explore opportunities, and directly apply for summer jobs. We’d love to see some of you there!
♥— your friends at Thread
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PO Box 1584
Baltimore, MD 21203