Believe 2 Become

Summer Learning at UCOM

In 2011 UCOM, with the help of our community partners and all of our fantastic supporters, hosted its first ever Believe 2 Become Summer Learning Academy and has been blessed to continue the program each year since.

The Believe 2 Become Summer Learning program is a literacy program meant to help combat the learning loss that occurs while students are on summer vacation. The program’s main focus is on math and literacy, but students engage in science, art, music, and social studies activities as well.

UCOM’s first Believe 2 Become program ran for four weeks and has since grown to six weeks. Running for two hours Monday through Thursday at UCOM, students engage in up to 48 extra hours of instruction that they otherwise would not have. Each week the program focuses on a different theme and is accompanied by corresponding readings and activities as well as a weekly field trip. Themes from the past few years have included; "Around the World in 28 Days," "Our Big Green World," and "Across the Cultures." Field trips vary from year to year and have included trips to; the Aviation Academy, Children's Opera, Circle Theater, Frederick Meijer Gardens, Binder Park Zoo, Blandford Nature Center and several local colleges just to name a few. The program also features guest and volunteers who read aloud to students and talk about their careers as well as the importance of education in their lives.

UCOM’s Believe 2 Become program enrolls Grand Rapids Public Schools students from grades 1-5. Students need daily transportation to and from the program which is held at UCOM, 1311 Chicago Dr. SW Wyoming, MI 49509. Transportation for field trips is provided for students. Parents are encouraged to join the program for field trips but need their own transportation. If you are interested in enrolling your child, please contact Program Director, Shawn Keener, or Pantry Coordinator, Katie Vanderwal at 616-241-4006.

Interested in volunteering?

Do you remember when you were little and you would read with your mom or dad before you went to bed? Do you miss doing this with your kids who are all grown-up now? Well, UCOM is looking for volunteers to help with its Summer Learning program helping students to better their math and reading and comprehension skills. All that’s needed is a big heart and a little patience.

Take a look at some of the things our tutors had to say about UCOM's educational programs and see if volunteering is right for you.

There was once a time when I was helping a girl read, and when she recognized a word, her face lit up. It was as if a door had been opened, and she suddenly realized its meaning. That was lovely.
   -Volunteer Tutor

The daily interactions with students were always rewarding
   -Volunteer Tutor

I am thankful to have been able to be a part of a program that encourages kids to read... [By] sacrificing a small amount of time to volunteer at Homework House, [ I ] was able to make a very positive impact on kids' lives. That is a beautiful thing!
   -Volunteer Tutor