For many children, summer vacation is filled with relaxing getaways and exciting summer camps. But for homeless children, opportunities for enriching summer activities are often quite limited, which can cause them to fall behind their peers.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, this phenomenon is known as “summer learning loss,” and it creates an achievement gap between lower and higher income youth, leaving homeless children up to two months behind in math and reading skills. The damaging effects of summer learning loss are long-lasting and even contribute to the high school dropout rate.

Drew Campbell of the nonprofit Getaboard Foundation is determined to help the Coalition’s kids keep up with their peers. His organization — with its mission to give purpose and direction to at-risk youth through action sports, art and education — has worked with the Coalition since 2003.

Getaboard’s four-week outreach program teaches skateboarding and art, all while instructing the children on the principles of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also known as STEM education. “They get to learn the physics behind skateboarding, like how the board gains momentum and how friction helps them stay on the board. It’s an opportunity for them to learn how STEM works in their everyday lives,” Drew says.

Over the years, Getaboard has attracted high-profile names in the action sports industry, like Evan Smith and Rob Wooton, who believe in encouraging kids to learn new skills that boost their self-confidence and creativity.

Thank you, Getaboard Foundation, for all you do to inspire the children at the Coalition to learn and create!

Interested in volunteering to provide activities for kids at the Coalition? Email Kristen Pena, Director of Community Engagement, at kristen.pena@cflhomeless.org.

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