Fun in the Sun

The Key Class Links Up with the Fun In the Sun Program for the Summer

The Key Class is proud to participate in the Fun in the Sun (FITS) program (sponsored by United Way of Santa Barbara County since 1997). FITS, the national, award-winning summer learning collaborative, is designed to improve academic, social and behavioral skills in financially and academically at-risk children (grades 3-9). It addresses the long-term effects of learning loss and achievement gaps children experience during the summer.

The daily seven-hour, seven-week session provides a series of planned educational, artistic, relational and recreational activities that strengthen children’s learning skills and creates a sense of connectivity, self-respect and life skills necessary for academic achievement and behavior skills.

The program has been developed for participants willing to make a multi-summer commitment. In addition to morning reading and writing, afternoon enrichment includes activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), service learning, and field trips throughout the summer. John Daly, President of The Key Class, will teach 190 of the younger children how to shake hands and have a respectful conversation, as well as instruct students in grades 10 to 12 the full Key Class Course 1.

United Way of Santa Barbara County was attracted to The Key Class because of its successful, cutting-edge style of delivering age-old etiquette in a fresh, fun and interactive way that excites young people. Working for the past several years with teens and in the high schools in Santa Barbara County, Daly and The Key Class have won the hearts and minds of students and educational organizations throughout the region.

“I hope your etiquette teaching rubs off on to my soul… In return for your passionate willingness for us to succeed in the job world, I will be successful.” – Richard Palafox, Key Class Student

The FITS program was honored by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), founded in 1992 at Johns Hopkins, as the recipient of the 2012 National Excellence in Summer Learning Award. In 2011, 82 percent of participants showed gains of 2.1 grade levels in reading comprehension, phonics, and vocabulary skills, according to tests administered at the beginning and end of the program. Parents also receive specialized curriculum through weekly Parent Education workshops.

United Way honored John Daly with the “Outstanding Fun In the Sun Individual Partner of the Year” Award for its 2013-2014 campaign.