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The Flexibility and Variety of a Collaborative . . .

GRSLA’s made up of local educational institutions and community based organizations that provide evidence-based summer learning programs. Each program has their own unique culture, with daily routines and yearly traditions that meet the needs of their students while showcasing the expertise of their teachers and staff. The following elements are embedded into each of our programs, but the ways in which they are implemented are as diverse as our programs themselves.



Regular program attendance is vital to avoiding the summer slide. Many of our programs, including our EPK/UPK programs, ask our parents to sign an attendance pledge committing to help their child attend their program regularly, on time, and prepared to learn and have fun. We work with families in attempts to ensure that the students enrolled in our programs are able to take complete advantage of the opportunity.

1:5 Adult-to-Student Ratio

2 Certified Teachers + 1 Paraprofessional = Success!

Our programs cap the size of their summer classrooms at 15 students. Each classroom is staffed by two certified teachers and one paraprofessional. This 1:5 adult to student ratio is ideal for small group work and allows teachers to provide one-on-one support, if students are struggling with specific material. 

Swimming Lessons

GRSLA students learn to swim. Most students come to GRSLA as non-swimmers who are afraid of the water. 

Learning to swim:

  • Transforms a feared challenge into a favorite activity

  • Encourages attention to detail and commitment to a goal

  • Teaches resilience and strategies to overcome fears and obstacles

  • Introduces a competitive sport

  • Inspires a healthy lifestyle

  • Is FUN!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in five fatal drowning victims

are children younger than 14. In predominantly minority communities, the youth drowning rate is often 2-3 times

higher than the national average.


Reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, and USA Swimming Foundation correlate the relationship between minority urban youth and swimming:

  • Nearly 70% of African-American children and 60% of Hispanic children have low or no swimming ability

  • Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged one to four years

  • African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers

  • If a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13% chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim


Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown swimming and other exercise promote healthy weight management, stronger bones and joints, greater muscle strength, improved flexibility, a greater ability to handle stress, and, as a result, better concentration in school. By getting our children acquainted with daily physical activity at a young age, GRSLA helps promote both a healthy lifestyle and better learning as our students continue their journey through elementary school and beyond.

summerLEAP program sites work throughout the summer to ensure that students begin the school year better prepared in reading and math. Teachers do this by reinforcing lessons taught during the prior school year and providing support in areas where students may have fallen behind. 

Each sites goes beyond the traditional classroom model by reserving time each day for group projects that utilize the reading and math skills learned in the classroom. Students may incorporate math as they prepare healthy snacks for their classmates, calculate the resources needed for campus gardens, or explore the rhythm and beats of salsa and hip-hop dance. They may incorporate literacy as they prepare a presentation for their peers on everyday solutions for combating climate change or as they create a video underscoring the most important characteristics of leadership. The types of projects that take place are as varied as our sites.

Literacy & Math Project-Based Curriculum

Academics Plus (+)

GRSLA understand that the purpose of education is to prepare students to be adaptable, thriving, and engaged adults. Our programs focus not only on academics but offer the enrichment of arts, physical education and off campus experiences. These elements widen our students’ world, opening them up to endless possibilities for their future, and provide them with the social and life skills necessary to navigate their world.

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