We know that research spanning 100 years shows that students lose ground over the summer months. Sadly, low-income students lose, on average, two months or more in reading. For many of these students, they are already behind when they first come to school. Even if they can catch up during the school year, the lack of learning opportunities in the summer makes that gap even wider. What is most alarming is that by the end of 5th grade, disadvantaged children are nearly three grade equivalents behind more affluent peers in reading. Summer is also a time when families have a harder time making their budgets work because their food costs increase so dramatically. To make matters worse, the food that is available to them for quick and easy preparation may not be the healthiest choice in most cases. Knowing all of these things, United Way of Story County and partners have taken an active role in enrichment and food planning for children during the summer. Together, with other community partners, United Way of Story County will help provide summer enrichment programs in Ames and in Nevada. United Way of Story County is working with both school districts, and the planning teams are organizing to host the summer food program and the enrichment program to complement the academic programs. Enrichment activities will include learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math. Both programs rely heavily on volunteers to serve meals and provide enriching learning experiences.