Students to assist with YMCA summer achievement program

'Find My Genius' designed to improve reading ability

Lessons focus on vocabulary, spelling, grammar, reading, writing and math. 

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – March 22, 2019) For the second year, California Lutheran University graduate students will earn hands-on teaching experience at the Southeast Ventura County YMCA's free five-week achievement gap program for low- and moderate-income students who are not reading at grade level. 

“Find My Genius” is designed to close the achievement gap frequently experienced by students over the summer. Last summer, 60 students entering second, third and fourth grade took part at Conejo Elementary School in Thousand Oaks. Lessons focus on vocabulary, spelling, grammar, reading, writing and math. 

In 2018, three Cal Lutheran Graduate School of Education (GSOE) students worked full time in the classroom and 15 others volunteered part time as academic camp counselors. 

"The program, with the invaluable help by Cal Lutheran students, made a big impact on our participants," says Isabel Pelayo, “Find My Genius” camp director and a Cal Lutheran GSOE alumna. 

In 2018, the 60 scholars improved an average of two months in reading and 2 1/2 months in math. In addition, 91% of the parents reported their child gained confidence as a result of the program. 

To build upon last year's success, the program is expanding to accommodate 120 scholars this summer. 

Cal Lutheran not only provides student teachers, but also helps underwrite the cost. 

“This program provides important summer educational experiences for children in our community as well as meaningful opportunities for our graduate students to continue their development as future teachers,” said Michael R. Hillis, dean of the Cal Lutheran GSOE. “We are excited to be ongoing sponsors and look forward to how this program will grow in the future.”

Participants are nominated by their schools to attend this summer program.  All will be notified about admission by the YMCA by mid-May.

Besides the program's learning component, there is also plenty of time for scholars to take part in outdoor activities, field trips, swimming and arts and crafts. "Emphasis is placed on character building, healthy eating habits and physical activity. It's a well-rounded, positive experience that can set young students on the right path to success in school and life," says Pelayo.

The YMCA also receives funding for “Find My Genius” from the Lennox Foundation, the Valentine Foundation and individual donors.

More

  • State approves bilingual teaching program
    Wed May 5, 2021

    As the result of a rare interdisciplinary collaboration between undergraduate and graduate programs, California Lutheran University has become one of the first institutions in California where undergraduate students can begin earning their bilingual teaching authorization through coursework.

  • 2020 grads return to celebrate in person
    Thu April 29, 2021

    One year after the pandemic forced California Lutheran University to hold commencement virtually, more than 300 members of the Class of 2020 will return to celebrate their achievements at an in-person ceremony just for them.

  • Faculty retiring with emeritus status
    Wed April 21, 2021

    Seven California Lutheran University faculty members with a combined total of more than 160 years of service are retiring with emeritus status. 

  • Festival reflects year's historic events
    Thu April 15, 2021

    The projects presented next week at California Lutheran University’s 15th Annual Festival of Scholars will reflect the historic events of the past year — from research conducted and films shot in students’ homes during pandemic stay-at-home orders to studies of the impact of distance learning and the optimal amount of lying during a political campaign.

  • Cal Lutheran plans in-person graduation
    Tue February 23, 2021

    California Lutheran University will honor 2020 and 2021 graduates at drive-in, in-person ceremonies attended by their classmates and families at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

  • Cal Lutheran grad students number 1,220
    Wed September 9, 2020

    The pandemic and the temporary move to virtual classes have had no impact on overall interest in California Lutheran University’s graduate programs, with enrollment remaining the same as last year at about 1,225 students at the start of the fall term.

  • Faculty retiring with emeritus status
    Mon May 11, 2020

    Seven California Lutheran University faculty members with a combined total of more than 200 years of service are retiring with emeritus status.

  • Virtual Graduate Commencement slated
    Fri May 1, 2020

    On May 15, California Lutheran University will launch the first of two virtual 57th Annual Commencement ceremonies honoring 2020 graduates.

  • Book gives voice to 10 autistic authors
    Tue October 1, 2019

    Ten nonspeaking people with autism explain how they found their voices through alternative communication methods in a new book edited by the director of the Autism and Communication Center at California Lutheran University.

  • Int'l admissions director honored for work
    Fri July 26, 2019

    California Lutheran University’s director of international admission received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC).

©