The Special Summer School Program is a free annual program aimed at providing participants with academic, social, and personal enrichment opportunities. It is designed to offer the children in school and out of school continued overall capacity development, during the summer holidays. This year, the Foundation successfully executed summer school in 3 centers; one in Kuje Abuja and two in Lagos. The program commenced on the 1st of August in the Lagos centers; Makoko and Ikota, and on the 10th of August in Kuje Abuja. The curriculum in all centers is covered around formal and vocational lessons such as mental mathematics, mentorship craftsmanship, and storytelling tailored around improved learning performance for all the participants.
Speaking on the impact of the Summer School Program, The Founder; Seyi Akinwale said;
“We had over 1000 participants in all three (3) centers show up every day for lessons regardless of the weather and security challenges in these communities. It is endearing to see children typically would be idle during the summertime and participate in many of the activities. A number of these children are out of school and this program is one of the ways we at The Special Foundation bridge the gap”.
“He added “In Kuje, this year, we launched a literacy center that will run all year round. This center will serve and enable interested young people to improve their learning.”
The Special Literacy Center is the first of its kind in the Kuje community. It is a facility where students can come to and focus on areas that challenge them and work on ways to improve their learning journey. The center is set to provide a wholesome experience for the students all year. They will get to practice more after school hours or during the holidays and they will receive additional instruction on areas they have challenges in.
To highlight the importance of the program and the work done by the Special Foundation, Chukwuma Nwanze, the co-founder said
“The Special Summer School improves the leadership, literacy, and critical thinking abilities of children from under-served communities. We accept and engage children aged 8 to 18 from low-income families because we believe that every child irrespective of their social or economic background has a right to dream.”
The 2022 edition of the Summer School was a success due to the support from corporate bodies. Speaking on the partnerships, a member of the governing council; Abimbola Ayinde said
“We had corporate support from Descasio, The Oppia Foundation, and the JOTNA group to enhance the learning experience for participants. These corporate bodies supported the program through in-kind donations and had members of their staff facilitate sessions to improve the knowledge of all the participants”. She went on to add “To bridge the widening gap of children out of school and provide quality education for these young minds, we need more people to partner with us. The resources are limited but we understand the important role partnerships and collaborations play in ensuring we can impact the numerous lives of young people”.
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The Special Foundation is a community of young professionals with a vision to improve the quality of leadership in all spheres of governance in Africa and ensure a platform where many young people can maximize their potential. Since 2019, the foundation has empowered less privileged, gifted African Children through education, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. It does this through a number of intervention programs one of which is the Special Summer School.