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RiseUp! Stoughton was piloted in 2015 to support youth from low-income households who, without summer enrichment, would fall behind an average of 2.5 months in grade equivalence in literacy and math. We partnered with Stoughton Public Schools to support 3rd grade students reading below grade level with limited access to summer enrichment. Youth spend their mornings with a certified teacher strengthening their literacy skills, and their afternoons are filled with more traditional summer camp activities at Camp Stoughton. RiseUp! staff also involves parents and guardians in the academic growth of their child. Our achievement gap programs culminate with a graduation ceremony that celebrates the commitment of both the child and parent or guardian in the youth’s success. We are proud to report that 100% of students raised their guided reading level last year.



Power Scholars

Power Scholars Academy was developed by Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) in collaboration with YMCA of the USA to address the academic achievement gap facing youth from low-income backgrounds. In the Summer of 2016, Old Colony YMCA partnered with Brockton Public Schools to offer Power Scholars Brockton. The program more than doubled our efforts from the previous year to support youth who fall behind and have limited access to 2.5 months in grade equivalence and have limited access to enrichment over the summer. “Scholars” spent their mornings in a classroom with a Brockton Public Schools teacher and teacher assistant. Afternoons focused on STEM, experiments, crafts, and physical activities. The overall goal of the program was to not only prepare our scholars for the school year by improving their skills in literacy and math, but to also improve their attitude towards school and confidence in the classroom and community. In just 6 weeks, scholars demonstrated an average increase of 2-3 months in both their math and reading levels.

Summer Leaders

The Brockton Summer Leaders program was designed as a high school readiness program for incoming freshmen from multiple middle schools in Brockton. First piloted in 2013, the program provides professional development and leadership training for youth, enhancing their confidence and self-esteem while building youth into community activists. After two weeks of initial training, Summer Leaders serve as valuable role models for younger campers at Camp Yomechas and Camp Satucket twice a week. Leaders run learning-based activities fostering an excitement to learn outside of school in response to the academic achievement gap. Our 24 graduated leaders will join past graduates as future Counselors in Training (CITs), employees, Board Members, and more in our Y family. Given the continued success of our Summer Leaders program in Brockton, the Old Colony Y piloted a new model in the Plymouth community in 2016. Similar to the Brockton model, rising freshmen were asked to step up as role models to younger kids in partnership with the Plymouth Public Schools. After two weeks of initial training and coaching, leaders served at Camp Clark two days a week, and engaged in additional professional development opportunities on Fridays.


Our academic achievement gap programs are run in partnership with local school districts, and all campers are referred through the school. To learn about how you can support these programs or to learn more, please contact Allison Daley, Executive Director of Family Services, at

The academics and learning is important, but the program was able to offer the scholars so much more. One of our young scholars entering the 4th grade had a speech impediment and often refrained from speaking out and participating in class. One of my favorite moments of the program was when this particular little girl took the microphone from her Enrichment Leader at Graduation to say what the program did for her this summer. She simply said: ‘I’m not afraid to talk now.’
RiseUp! Teacher