During the spring, Senior members apply to be mentors, and, once accepted, are trained in literacy mentoring. The trained senior mentors are then paired up with two Explorers each, and work with them throughout the summer program, meeting twice a week to complete literacy-building activities that are presented as superhero super challenges. As the Explorers progress, they can earn additional superpowers, sidekicks, and other superhero accessories and tools.
And the boys are loving it. David, 14, has been working with Christopher, 7, for three weeks, now. An ISP member, David wanted to find a way to give back to BCNY. Having enjoyed working with his aunt at her daycare center, Summer Superheroes seemed like a great fit. For Christopher, it’s all about having fun. His chosen superhero, the Mask Magician, can leap tall buildings, among other talents. Recently, Christopher earned a sidekick after completing a particularly difficult writing exercise. When asked his favorite part of the program, he exclaimed “Reading!” His second favorite? “Writing!”
Summer Superheroes is first and foremost a fun program for BCNY’s members. But it also helps prevent summer learning loss in reading for Explorers and provides training and encouragement to teen members new to youth development (senior mentors are continually supported by experienced teachers and full-time youth development staff throughout the program). This year, Summer Superheroes is once again sure to be a super success.