2017 SAIL Programs

In 2017, The SAIL collaborative awarded 38 grants to schools and non-profits in the state of Alabama. To find a summer learning location for a child in your life, see below.

In the Birmingham area:

Traditional Day Camps:



Brain Forest Summer Learning Program of the Montgomery Education Foundation

In partnership with the Birmingham City Schools.

This five-week program for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students provides 80 hours of instruction in hands-on project based learning environment focused on reading and math skills. Instruction is provided by certified teachers in the mornings while afternoons consist of recreational and enrichment activities. In addition, professional development program provided weekly for all teachers.


Connecting Literacy and Science: Birmingham City Schools 

  • This summer learning program will support reading with science content and exploration. Engineering is Elementary and Picture-Perfect Science will use non-fiction and fiction books in connecting science inquiry activities. The programs will take place in four elementary schools for students in grades 1-5. Hands-on, project-based learning is the essence of engineering. As groups of students work together to answer questions like “How large should I make the canopy of this parachute?” or “What material should I use for the blades of my windmill?” they collaborate, think critically and creatively, and communicate with one another.


Project Learn: Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama

  • Project Learn will take place in four sites – Hueytown, Clay Chalkville, Pell City, and Brookside.  The program at these Clubs will focus on a total of  100 children rising into the 3rd-5th grades.  For academic activities, these children will be clustered into groups of approximately 12 children. Each week volunteers will come into the Clubs to read books with the children.  Additionally, these children will have enrichment opportunities at the Clubs and on field trips as well as the opportunity to spend an hour each day working in our hands on STEM Labs.

Camp Fire USA Central Alabama Council

  • Camp Fletcher conducts a traditional summer day camp program to meet the needs of working parents seeking an affordable, safe place for their children during out-of-school time; and campers who want fun-filled activities. Located on 275 woodland acres, Camp is where children challenge themselves, discover the natural environment & develop new skills.  The Day Camp is for rising 1st-5th graders and keeps youth active while challenging their minds & bodies. The 30-A-Day component is a powerful additional for the children we serve impacting them academically, socially and emotionally.

Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama

  • Girls Inc. offers an eight-week summer enrichment program for girls in Jefferson County and a six-week summer program in Walker County, where girls receive daily academic and life skills reinforcement to continue their development and prepare them for the upcoming school year. Programs are planned from a holistic approach and designed to develop the whole girl and prevent summer learning loss. Classes include reading, math, economic literacy, adolescent health, cooking and nutrition. Girls are also engaged in art, creative writing, sport skills, gymnastics and swimming.

Norwood Resource Center

  • In addition to the academic programs focused on reading and math, students will participate in the Junior Master Gardener program, an international youth gardening program of the University Extension network. The mission of the JMG program is to grow good kids by igniting a passion for learning, success & service through unique gardening education. The curriculum includes independent & group learning experiences, life skill & career exploration, & service learning opportunities. Topics include health & nutrition, growing profits & Literature in the Garden.

Summer Advantage USA (in partnership with the Birmingham Board of Education)

  • During this five week program, student scholars participate in research- and standards-based instruction in literacy and math in the morning; engage in afternoon enrichment classes ranging from STEM to art to physical fitness. On Fun Fridays, scholars engage deeply with the community through activities like guest speakers, field trips, workplace tours, college campus visits, and scholar-led community service projects.

S.P.R.OUT Garden Summer Program at Tarrant City Schools

  • This program blends tutoring curriculum and hands-on learning opportunities for 60 rising 3rd through 6th grade students from Tarrant Intermediate School. Sylvan Learning Center will facilitate the Ace It! Curriculum in small groups with shared academic needs. Enrichment activities will incorporate the community garden located on campus. Students will be identified to participate in the program by the end of the third nine weeks using standards-based report cards and STAR scores. The teacher to student ratio will be 1:10, with Sylvan tutoring three hours for each student daily. The Program Director, one certified teacher, and four teacher assistants (adult and/or students) will facilitate enrichment activities throughout the day. A Technology Integration Coach will assist staff and students in integrating tech tools into lessons and creating digital products.

Faith-based programs:

Camp Lift at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

  • This program includes 4 hours of daily academics including reading, math and science activities. Includes physical education and recreation activities daily including: gardening, basketball, nature walks, volleyball, checkers, scrabble, arts and craft with a park on site. It also includes weekly field trips.

Children’s Fresh Air Farm

  • This six-week program is for rising 3rd,4th and 5th graders from Hayes K-8 School. Each day includes academic instruction and enrichment activities. Enrichment activities include music, gardening, science, arts&crafts, pottery, PE, golf, swimming and field trips. Biblical instruction is offered during Chapel services and morning devotions,with lessons reinforced throughout the day, especially in community time, music,and arts&crafts. Children graduate with school supplies for the upcoming year,a new uniform,and a voucher for new shoes.New scholars are given a story Bible.

Fresh Start Family Solutions

  • Fresh Start is a four week comprehensive summer guidance program that helps to develop the entire child physically, spiritually, emotionally, and especially academically. Academics, social skills, creative arts, and off campus learning opportunities are the focal points for our summer camp. The program provides a family atmosphere to encourage both children and parents to participate in all activities.  Providing a place where the child feels encouraged and rewarded for good behavior and academic gains, Fresh Start Family Solutions mission is to develop the ethical character of the whole child by physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and academically supporting them in a noble environment.

Urban Kids: Urban Ministry

  •  Admission to this program is based on corroborating referrals from classroom teachers, school counselors and/or school principals to identify strategic students in need of an academic boost who have the academic skills,  social skills and family support to successful complete the program. Urban Kids will partner with Better Basics to provide hands on academic instruction in a structured learning environment with themes to provide the basis for an engaging and enriched learning experience. Students develop personal leadership  through active participation in the formative assessment process.

Thinkers Summer Learning Program YMCA Alabaster

  • The Alabaster and Pelham YMCA will partner with Better Basics to offer a 6-week program to 60 rising third, fourth, and fifth grade students at risk of summer learning loss. Learning themes will include Fiesta, Time Travel, and Asian Adventure.   On Fridays, students will take a field trip and participate in other enrichment activities that will correlate to the theme and materials learned in the classroom.

YMCA Shades Valley/YMCA Western Area/YMCA Downtown Youth Center/YMCA Northeast

  • The Shades Valley branch, the Northeast branch in Roebuck, the Youth Center and the Western branch in the Midfield community will partner with Better Basics and Inglenook School to offer a 6 week Summer Learning Program for rising 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students during the summer of 2017. This full day program concentrates on academics (intervention reading and math) in the mornings and day camp enrichment activities in the afternoons. Students are transported from their YMCA branches in the mornings to Inglenook School and returned to the branches at noon each day for the afternoon enrichment. Each branch will identify and recruit students from their service areas and schools. This past summer, 61 youth from 9 different school systems enrolled in the 2016 Summer Learning Program.

The Springboard Enrichment Program at Zion Spring Baptist Church

  • This 8 week enrichment camp focuses on increasing each child’s reading/mathematics score to reach at or above his or her grade level. Also provides enrichment activities.


Sports-focused programs:


Neighborhood Academy, Inc.

  • Focused on 5th and 6th grade students, this program uses lacrosse as the hook, but education is the key. This program has a weighted focus on math while also teaching public speaking, world affairs and US and World Geography. During our 8 week program, our students will also learn basic cooking skills, how to fix a small engine, hear from guest speakers from different backgrounds, and go on at least 4 or 5 field trips.


Camp BASIC: American Baseball Foundation

  • Baseball & Academic Skills Instructional Course (BASIC) is a 4-week, 6.5 hours per day, co-ed sports and education related summer camp for those in 1st-8th grade created to prevent summer learning loss.  It provides an achievement program that rewards demonstration of character traits related to long-term learning achievement—cooperation, tenacity, perseverance etc.  The BASIC Curriculum is an integrated sports and sports-related academic guide designed to stimulate the interest in the program itself.  It is not that all the children are sports enthusiasts, rather that they come to enjoy the shared experience of learning new movements and techniques through BASIC sports. Every 50 minutes of the six-and a half hour day, students apply math and reading to sports which brings the two subjects to life.  The students are grouped into “home teams” that compete against other small “home teams”  in the classroom and field.    The “home team” generates loyalty and cooperation.

For middle school students:

SOLE STEM Summer Program at Tarrant City Schools

  • The SOLE STEM Summer Program will blend self-organized learning environments (SOLE) with Sylvan tutoring curriculum, project-based and inquiry- based learning and hands-on STEM opportunities rising 7th through 9th grade students from Tarrant High School. Sylvan Learning Center will provide the Ace It! Reading and Math curriculum, in a small group setting, for one hour in each subject daily.  Creative Exchanges Initiative (CEI) will provide certified staff to execute the Sylvan curriculum and facilitate students in “answering big questions” through project-based group work and educational adventure. Students will play “After the Storm,” a web-based literacy game that infuses writing and critical thinking.

UHope Success Academy of the Urban Hope Community Church

  • This program was started to address the achievement gap that students in urban under-resourced communities experience, encouraging students to pursue academic success, beginning with middle school students.  Students are provided with opportunities to increase their academic knowledge, especially in math and English Language Arts.  Students develop critical habits, skills & attitudes about their education over the summer, which will prepare them for their upcoming grade.  Students learn about colleges, locally & nationally, and how they can work toward a goal of going to college.  Students are encouraged to place a high value on education.  The parents of our students are engaged throughout the UHope Success process, providing them with effective tools which they can  use to better advocate for their childs academic success.


Exceptional Learners:

Deaf Learning Project at the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation

The Deaf Learning Project (DLP) is a summer program setup to meet the needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. The DLP has three areas of focus: literacy, life skills and family connections. The literacy component will focus on improving deaf students’ literacy skills using a bi-modal language teaching method. ASL and English skills will be taught. The life skills component will focus on self- advocacy, interpersonal skills, and work readiness. Students will engage in situation-based learning, mock scenarios and real life applications within the community. The family component will provide resources, language support and a family camp to connect the family, providing the structure necessary for the student to thrive.

Although sponsored by the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, this program is open to students from all areas of central Alabama.


Some SAIL Programs are open only to those students currently enrolled in their programs or school. These include:

Breakthrough Birmingham

  • Breakthrough Birmingham is a tuition-free, three-summer academic- acceleration program for motivated, under-served middle school students.Students participate in over 180 hours of rigorous instruction focused on math, science, literacy, and non-cognitive skills. In 2017, Breakthrough Birmingham will serve 120 rising seventh, eighth, and ninth graders from the Birmingham City Schools. Additionally, six high-school students will serve as volunteer teaching assistants working directly with our 21 Teaching Fellows and 4 Instructional Coaches. By having high school students serve as volunteer teaching assistants and college students serve as Teaching Fellows, Breakthrough is able to create, nature, and support mentoring relationships between motivated young adults and middle school students.

Summer Learning Program at Grace House Ministries, Inc.

  • Grace House’s Summer Learning Program is a 6 week, hands-on summer learning experience specifically for girls in foster care with special activities to include girls from our Fairfield community. The Summer Learning program is focused to prevent summer learning loss and to promote healthy lifestyle choices. The morning curriculum will focus on literacy education and STEM. Morning classes will be split into elementary, middle and high school sections to ensure each girl receives grade level appropriate instruction. After a balanced lunch, the girls will participate in afternoon free play and sport activities.

IMPACT Mentoring Summer Learning Program: IMPACT Family Counseling

  • IMPACT Mentoring (IM) will provide a 6-week Summer Learning Session for 25 rising 3rd, 4th & 5th graders from several Birmingham City Schools. Students will receive 1.5 hrs of reading & 1.5 hrs of math intervention daily including tailored lessons and independent reading. Each afternoon, IM staff will provide enrichment activities that include, but are not limited to, speakers and academic projects, various activities, games & field trips.

Restoration Academy

  • The elementary program includes classes meeting 4 days a week at 4 hours each day. Certified teachers teach and volunteers work in one-on-one settings to individualize learning. All students utilize Khan Academy for summer learning. Our summer reading program incentivizes reading within a self-paced self-selected program.The High School Intro Program allows our teachers to assess students, illustrate our discipline structure and prepare them for the fall.The High School Remedial and Credit Recovery Program allows students to receive intensive remediation.

Summer Enrichment Program YWCA Central Alabama

  • The YWCA’s After-School Enrichment Program (ASEP) and KIDS (Kids in Distress) Korner offer a summer learning component for children living in area homeless shelters and transitional housing programs.  The YW program offers services for early learners, elementary school and middle school children. The preschool component includes activities that enhance school readiness and are part of our nationally-accredited program.

Other grantees:

Better Basics 30-A-Day Program

  • The framework for the 30-A-Day Program is based on a book club model. Book clubs are a manageable form of independent reading in which participants are divided into small groups for the purpose of discussing the book read. Discussions are structured by assigning roles to children prior to reading. For example, each child has a responsibility during the book club discussion to play one of five roles including: summarizing details, writing questions, making connections, drawing scenes, and making predictions.


  • QUARK or quilting activity resource kit is a simple, well-designed product that teaches math concepts through quilting principles. Just as with the basic building blocks of all matter, our QUARKs introduce children to the fundamentals of math through the basic elements of art such as shape, pattern and color. QUARKs consist of thread, a needle and felt, yet are innovative due to our clear delivery of content through beautiful and thoughtful design. The kits are facilitated by Bib & Tucker members with extensive quilting experience and a solid understanding of the concepts being taught.

Blount County, Alabama:

Catch Up and Step Up with Blount County Education Foundation

  • “Catch Up and Step Up,” an intervention/enrichment program for 3-6 grades at-risk students, is designed to help students achieve rapid improvement (catch up) and enrichment activities will develop student interests/talents (step up).  The program will operate 5 hours a day, 4 days a week for 6 weeks in the Susan Moore community.

Walker County, Alabama:

WCCAA Summer Sky Program at Walker County Community Action Agency

  • This program provides daily learning material for youth ages 4 -15. The program also includes weekly local trips, and weekly out-of-town trips to enhance the youth learning experiences.  All areas of activities include learning opportunities and physical development.


Black Belt Region of Alabama:

BAMA Kids Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) of BAMA Kids (Camden, AL)

  • This program offers  a range of effective activities that include academic support, focusing on reading and math. In addition, life skills, cultural arts, mentoring and physical development  are provided. BAMA Kids, Inc. SEP exposes  participants to opportunities  to develop the whole child, and fills unmet educational needs for youth who are denied opportunity, due to poverty and isolation.

ABCs of Word Wizardy & 123s of Math Fluency 2017 at McRae Learning Center (Selma, AL)

  • ABCs of Word Wizardry and 123s of Math Fluency 2017 will run for seven weeks and offer students the chance to expand their vocabularies, to enjoy creative writing using their new vocabulary words and to read books that challenge their current reading level.  In math, the group will work on speed in basic math calculations in addition, subtraction and even multiplication. They will continue the exploration of our universe as presented by Neil DeGrasse Tyson in his remake of the series “Cosmos, a Space Odyssey.” In addition, the program we will include visual arts in collaboration with the Alabama Council on the Arts.

Summer Enrichment Program at Theo Ratliff Activity Center (Demopolis, AL)

  • The Summer Enrichment program will partner with the Demopolis School System to assist in identifying children in grades 3-5 who are experiencing academic difficulties and those in danger of repeating a grade. All participants will utilize grade level Voyager Computer Based math and reading program. Participants will also participate in the following; Character building lessons, Health and Fitness, Arts and Craft, swimming, guest speakers, and mentoring program. An audiologist will be available for screening of participants upon the request of the parents.

Vtown Adventures in Learning by Fathers of St. Edmund Southern Mission (Vredenburgh, AL)

  • This summer program in partnership with Better Basics will offer will offer a rigorous six-week academic program focused on reading and using IXL math led by experienced teachers for students in grades K-8. The teachers will interact with parents, seek 90 percent daily attendance, and plan experiences outside the classroom that offer students hands-on involvement with the community, service projects and off-site learning.

Higher Achievement Summer School (HASS) (Livingston, AL)

  • HASS is a four-week boarding and academic program aimed at helping students make significant gains in the academic areas of math, reading, writing, public speaking, literary analysis, and in life skills, financial literacy, and cultural exposure. HASS students are immersed in intensive courses designed to enrich them academically as well as professionally and socially. The primary goal of HASS is to ensure that students make significant academic gains, but the secondary focus is to expose students to opportunities and experiences they do not have access to in the Black Belt.

Yellowhammer Literacy Project (Sawyerville, AL)

  • In 2017, the Yellowhammer Learning Program will serve rising third-grade students from Greensboro Elementary School. Students will participate in the first session of Sawyerville Day Camp and then begin the Yellowhammer Learning Program for the following four weeks. Students will receive instruction in reading, writing, math, and science from certified teachers. They will participate in enrichment lessons, exploration activities, and field trips. We offer free transportation as well as free breakfast and lunch to our students. Each week we have a Parent Night where families are invited to dinner and a program and to meet with our staff.

Huntsville/Madison County:

Madison City Schools EL SAIL Program

  • The English Learner Summer Adventures in Learning is a free four-week (5 days a week) program for the high-needs English Learners in grades 4-6 focused on providing rigorous and highly engaging instruction targeting English language acquisition and math skills.  The goal of the program is to avoid the “summer slide” and offset the loss of the English, reading and math skills during the summer.  Certified teachers will provide high-quality theme-based instruction using guided reading curriculum and math curriculum based on the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards with STEM and project-based learning supplementing the instruction.  Afternoon activities will include experiential learning through field trips, passion projects, digital portfolios, and outdoor learning ensuring student exposure to the English language to reduce summer skill loss.

Village of Promise Freedom School

  • The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School model incorporates the mission of Village of Promise and Children’s Defense Fund by fostering environments that encourage children and young adults to excel and shape the belief that they can make a difference in themselves, in their families, schools, communities, country and the world.  The program model curriculum supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment, parent and family engagement, social and civic engagement, inter-generational servant leadership, and nutrition, health and mental health.  The focus is on maintaining and improving reading and literacy skills: however, math and other STEM elements are part of the everyday curriculum.  Each week, there is a Parent’s Meeting that includes eating dinner as a family, with a guest speaker presenting a forum for the adults.

YMCA Madison County Elementary School Power Scholars Program

  • The YMCA, in partnership with the CARE Center and Madison County Elementary Schools, will provide two summer learning programs at Madison County Elementary, a Title I schools: the Y readers program and the BELL Power Scholar Academy Program.  The six-week combined program includes pre-and post-testing using the STAR Renaissance Assessment tool.  Curriculum for the BELL Power Scholars Academy program will be provided by BELL University in connection with Scholastic.  The Y Readers program will utilize the 4 Blocks Literacy curriculum and focuses on literacy for 1st through 5th grades, while the BELL Power Scholars Academy focuses on literacy and math for kindergarten through 8th grade students.