PORTLAND, Ore., June 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:UMPQ), is kicking off an initiative to address summer student learning loss, an issue known as the summer slide. Studies show the loss of critical knowledge over the summer months is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between youth in lower- and higher-income families, and a leading cause of America’s high school dropout rate.
“Kids are the future of our communities, and at Umpqua we believe we have an obligation to help them thrive," said Cort O’Haver, president and CEO of Umpqua Bank. "The summer slide is an important issue that can be addressed through awareness and smart programs and resources, and Umpqua is committed to being a part of the solution.”
About Umpqua's Stop the Slide Campaign:
- Free Educational Resources: Umpqua has created free summer learning packets featuring math- and literacy-focused activities for kids. They are available online now and will be available in Umpqua’s more than 300 stores in five states beginning June 19.
- Sweet Treats + Smart Tools: Umpqua will deploy five Umpqua Bank ice cream trucks with thousands of free ice cream treats and interactive summer learning materials to help parents and kids make learning part of summer fun.
- Take Action - #StopTheSlide: Beginning June 12, Umpqua is kickstarting a conversation online with inspiring stories, activities and actions to inspire others to help stop the summer slide. Parents and families can find and share ideas, stories and resources on Facebook, Twitter, and Umpqua’s blog with the hashtag #stoptheslide.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Umpqua associates will be working with summer programs in their communities all summer through Umpqua’s Connect Volunteer Network, which gives every associate up to 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer. In addition, Umpqua will be sharing volunteer opportunities online and in social media to make it easier for others to get involved.
- Little Free Library Giveaway: Later this summer, adults and kids alike will have the chance to win a Little Free Library for their neighborhood by commenting on a post on Umpqua’s Facebook page with their favorite book.
Baker City, Oregon: A Summer Learning Success Story
In 2016, the Baker City Summer Academy was started with a $90,000 three-year grant from the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. Situated in rural, eastern Oregon and run through the Baker School District, the Summer Academy is the school district's first large-scale academic summer program targeting students at risk for falling behind their peers in school.
In just its first year, the Summer Academy made a significant difference, with 92% of students improving or maintaining in literacy and 50% improving or maintaining in math – a rate that could eliminate the area’s achievement gap within three years of Summer Academy attendance. The second year of the Baker City Summer Academy begins June 27.
“Umpqua’s early investment in the Baker City Summer Academy was a critical component in our ability to launch and build this program,” said Mark Witty, superintendent of the Baker School District. “After just the first year, our kids made great progress and we know this is a program that’s already changing lives. Umpqua is one of the first organizations to recognize and fund programs like ours that are working to address this important issue and I look forward to seeing significant gains as a result of their thoughtful and smart investment.”
About the Summer Slide
The summer slide describes what happens over the summer when students, especially those from low-income families, lose the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. More than 25 million low-income public school students in America are affected by the summer slide, and it's one of the most significant causes of high school dropout in America. For many students, the summer achievement gap contributes to gaps in college and career success. It’s estimated that it costs $1,500 per student, per year, to re-teach forgotten material at the beginning of each school year.
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been acknowledged for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the eleventh consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to small businesses.
Umpqua Holdings also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments, Inc., which offers services through Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Oregon. Umpqua's Wealth Management Division serves high net worth individuals and nonprofits by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit http://www.umpquabank.com.
Source: Umpqua Holdings Corporation