BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - From taking tests to learning how to play soccer, rising seventh grader Fernando Martinez says the American Baseball Foundation’s BASIC Program is helping him become a better student.
“I like this camp because it keeps my academics up, especially my reading and math so I don’t lose them during the summer," Fernandez said.
For four weeks, more than 70 underprivileged kids in Northern Jefferson and Shelby counties are learning about different sports. At the same time the programs helps to prevent summer learning loss in children grades one through eight.
“Our program is designed to stop the loss of reading and math during the summer and we do it with a real fun thing and that’s sports," said Executive Director David Osinski.
This is the 23rd year for ABF’s BASIC Program, which this year, is being held at the Hoover Met. Every 50 minutes, the campers rotate between a learning activity inside, to a sporting activity outside, learning the ins and outs of soccer, baseball, and volleyball.
“I like it, I definitely like learning here a lot more than in the classroom," said rising fifth grader Jimena Alcala.
Campers are tested in math and reading when they first arrive and then tested again before they leave. The results?
“On average, we’ve been able to see a three-month gain in both reading and math which is huge for students during the summer. That way when they return to school in the fall, they’re ahead," Osinski added.
The BASIC Program consists of over 300 sports-related math and reading lessons and is now being offered in Huntsville.