Brett Andryshak, of Boy Scout Troop 629 in Hamersville, recently completed building individual treasure chests for the Adams Brown Head Start Summer Bridge Program children for his Eagle Scout Project. Andryshak designed and built the treasure boxes from reclaimed wood.
One part of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is to complete an Eagle Project. An Eagle Project consists of planning, developing and giving leadership to others in a service project that is helpful to any religious institution, school, or the community. A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, the unit leader and committee, and the council or district before the project is started.
Andryshak chose this project because he wanted to help at risk children develop a love of reading and learning before they enter school. He personalized the boxes with the child’s first name so it made it truly their own. As part of the Literacy Program and a surprise for Andryshak, the Summer Bridge children designed and sent him thank you cards for their treasure chests.
The Summer Bridge Literacy Program is a seven week home visitation program that supports one-on-one learning so the child’s strengths can be built upon and special needs can be addressed. The crucial role of parents in their child’s school success is stressed. When parents see that their role as their child’s first teacher can be fun and rewarding, the stage is set for their continued involvement in their child’s academic career. The Summer Bridge program is unique in that it provides interventions in the summer when traditionally children do not receive academic instruction. When children are not exposed to instruction for several weeks they tend to show regression in the skills that they have learned. This summer intervention helps them not to regress or to regress less before they go to kindergarten.
Funding from United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the partner agency Adams Brown Community Action Program Head Start program was able to continue the Summer Bridge Literacy Program. Research continues to support the connection between high quality preschool programs, such as Head Start/Early Head Start and the benefits for children and the communities in which they live. Positive early learning contributes to later academic achievement, positive social and emotional growth, literacy, and quantitative skills.