Grant recipient expresses gratitude

The following is the second of an in-depth series on the Konosioni Senior Honor Society's grant  recipients for 2012. Funds raised each year through the Konosioni Charity Auction are allocated as grants to support the efforts of local non-profit organizations. This year marks the 16th annual event and the 79th year of Konosioni. Learn how to get involved in our fundraising efforts. 

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March 2013

Dear Members of Konosioni,

The Konosioni focus on youth enrichment is the perfect pairing with the Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program’s (YSLPP’s) Summer Academic Enrichment Program.  Our summer program, which serves 180 Utica City School District students who will enter seventh, eighth or ninth grade in the fall, is a vital component of the Young Scholars blueprint for student achievement.

The long-term benefit of the summer program is that it addresses the learning gap that develops between students from families with low socioeconomic standing and those with high socioeconomic standing.  Studies of the “summer achievement gap” have shown that students from low socioeconomic households tend to be less prepared for high school academics in general, very much less prepared for college preparatory classes, and more likely to drop out of school than students from families with high socioeconomic standing.

Additionally, our summer program employs graduated Young Scholars as Teaching Assistants who not only assist the classroom teachers, but serve as positive role models to the summer program students.  Since fewer than five percent (5%) of the parents of YSLPP students have attended college and many have not completed high school, Young Scholars often do not envision themselves as prospective college students.   Therefore, our Teaching Assistants – who are graduated Young Scholars attending college – provide an invaluable opportunity for our students to recognize college as a viable option for themselves.   

The $9,100 grant from Konosioni is particularly timely, for the budget problems of the Utica City School District (UCSD) have, in turn, created budget problems for YSLPP.  The UCSD normally provides $150,000 annually to the YSLPP, but the District’s contribution to YSLPP for 2012-2013 was $0 and for 2013-2014 will be $0.

The Konosioni funds, which will provide the salaries of the 14 Teaching Assistants in the 2013 YSLPP Summer Academic Enrichment Program, will also help ensure our ability to deliver the summer program.  These funds will have a tremendous impact on our youth, both by addressing the “summer achievement gap” and by making it possible for our unique Teaching Assistants to offer YSLPP students a powerful vision for their future.

With heartfelt thanks,

Flossie Mitchell
YSLPP Director