Grant helps YMCA with summer learning program

NASHUA – The YMCA of Greater Nashua announced it was awarded a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from New York Life.

The grant will support the YMCA’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program, which is designed to improve literacy skills for low-income first- and second grade students in Nashua who are struggling with their reading skills.

"We are grateful for New York Life’s investment in our Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program, which will change many lives for the better," said Mike LaChance, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Nashua. "Without the support from New York Life, we wouldn’t be able to serve 32 children in this program.

"This grant will help defray program expenses, including educational supplies, program staff wages and educational field trips for the students."

The YMCA of Greater Nashua is the only Y in New Hampshire offering SLLP; summer 2015 was the first time it was offered locally.

Evidence-based research has shown that low-income students lose 2.5 to 3 months of learning each summer and that this is cumulative over their school career. This program enables students to begin the next school year ahead instead of falling further behind.

Additionally, studies show that getting kids to read at grade level by third grade significantly improves their likelihood of completing high school.

"I’m proud to work for a company that encourages its agents and employees to devote their time, energy and talents to support the needs and priorities of their local community," said Earl Prolman, an agent with New York Life’s New Hampshire general office.

Prolman is a member of the YMCA’s board of trustees and has been a YMCA volunteer for 56 years.

"We are pleased that our partnership will have a long-lasting impact on the YMCA and the community they serve," he said.

The Community Impact Grant program awards grants of up to $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations that are championed by New York Life agents and employees to serve the needs of their communities. Since the program’s inception in 2008, 387 grants totaling more than $5 million have been awarded to nonprofits across the country.