Summer word play

Above: Kids practice their sight words, part of the YMCA Adirondack Outreach Center’s Summer Literacy Program in Brant Lake.

Summer vacation is great, but it challenges families to keep children safe, healthy, and engaged. And in rural areas like northern Warren County and southern Essex County, finding a€ffordable summer programs isn’t easy.

Ambitious philanthropists Sue and Jim Himoff€ dreamed of o€ffering a range of programming to their communities. Their goal is to make sure local residents get a good start on a level playing field and are well prepared for the future. In 2016, they donated the former Suzie Q’s restaurant in Brant Lake to the Glens Falls YMCA to establish the Adirondack Outreach Center, which off€ers a hybrid academic camp and summer literacy program for at-risk kids, kindergarten through third grade -- a program supported by our Generous Acts Fund.

“When asked how school was going, one of the girls corrected her mom, saying ‘I’m not going to school, it’s camp and I love it,’” said Tammie LaGuerre, the Outreach Center’s advocacy director.

Throughout the summer, kids maintain and improve reading skills while playing indoors and outside. The Outreach Center plans to work with its feeder schools to assess and track the
progress achieved through the summer literacy program.