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Faye's Story

Summer learning provides stability for families

After gaining custody of her two grandsons six years ago, summers were a struggle for Faye and her husband Bruce.  But the family found greater stability since enrolling their grandsons in the Summer Learning program at Rittman Elementary, a United Way partner program with Rittman Elementary School and YMCA of Wooster.

Before enrolling in the program, Faye and Bruce faced many challenges each summer. Preventing summer reading loss and providing enrichment activities for their boys were out of reach.
“We couldn’t afford summer activities or camps.  Our younger grandson struggled with reading and fell behind each summer,” Faye said.  In addition to not being able to provide enrichment and learning opportunities, Faye also hoped to provide greater family stability.

Prior to the Rittman Summer Learning program, Faye worked second shift at a local fast food restaurant, while her husband worked first shift at a plumbing supply company.  This meant the family was rarely together in the summer.   As Faye explains, “Our boys experienced trauma in their early years, so they needed to be with us all of the time.  Our kids needed family stability and the comfort of being together, all to overcome the effects of their parents not being around.”

Since enrolling her grandsons in the Summer Learning program, Faye has found a new job, with better hours and better pay. “Now we feel like we are a whole family, especially in the summer,” Faye said.  She adds, “At the end of the day we pick them up and we are able to enjoy quality family time together.”

Faye’s grandsons are able to develop valuable social and academic skills through enrichment activities, reading daily, and playing with other kids because of the Rittman Summer Learning program.  In addition to these benefits, Faye finds comfort in this: “I know they are safe, they are learning and well taken care of.”