SummerCollab, the nonprofit summer learning program that aims to close the achievement gap in Delaware, has been nationally recognized before, and it’s been recognized again, this time by the Ascena Foundation, which has honored the nonprofit and its founder and CEO, Catherine Lindroth, with a Roslyn S. Jaffe Award for $25,000.
Out of over 2,500 nominations, only three received awards; in addition to Lindtroth, the Breast Treatment Task Force of New York City and top-prize-winner Generation Hope of Washington, D.C. were also awarded.
The awards are given to “Everyday heroes who are making the world a better place for women and children, specifically in the areas of health, education, social reform and self-esteem,” according to Ascena.
Roslyn S. Jaffe, the awards’ namesake, founded Dress Barn in 1962 with her husband Elliot. Eventually, the small clothing shop in Connecticut grew to become Ascena Retail Group Inc., a family of brands that includes Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey and Lane Bryant.
“It is imperative that low income children— who often lag behind in literacy, and who are hungry for positive, self-defining moments — access programs with high expectations and high quality educators, appropriate staffing, and engaging, exploratory programing,” said Lindroth. “Unfortunately this isn’t the norm — and it’s no one’s fault. The budget margins in our community simply can’t translate into the social and emotional supports we know are needed to level the playing field.”
SummerCollab programming has reached nearly 3,000 under-resourced students in Delaware, through its partnerships with community centers and local school districts. According to its data, 86 percent of participants have shown a reversal of summer learning loss.